THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has commenced an inquiry into the cause of the recent shoals of dead fish washed ashore along the Niger Delta coastline states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers, and other places within the region.
The agency also warned the general public in the affected areas on the dangers of consuming or selling the dead fish which could lead to health hazard.
In a statement, signed by the Head, Public Relation Department of the agency, Mr. Philip Kyenat, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said that the agency was collaborating with other relevant stakeholders to get to the bottom of the issue.
Jamoh said: “We are working with relevant scientific experts to isolate the cause of the abnormal issue of dead fish along the Niger Delta coastline. We want to identify the cause and establish what can be done to alleviate the adverse effect of this occurrence on the people and the marine environment in the affected areas.
While we are working to decipher and mitigate this strange incident, we appeal to locals in the affected communities and those who trade in aquatic animals to avoid consumption and sale of the dead fish, as such acts may carry criminal liabilities, especially with regard to deliberate sale of the dead fish to the public.”
The agency boss also said that the tripod investigation would involve an examination of the dead fish as well as water and sediment analyses.