DEVELOPING AQUACULTURE IN DEGRADED INLAND AREAS IN NIGERIA
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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria, the country of many rivers, is also rich in lakes, reservoirs and wetlands but many of them had been degraded due to a lot of factors (FGN, 1993). Sustainable fisheries production and development depends largely upon good aquatic environment. It is generally accepted that the future well-being of a developing country such as Nigeria, will depend upon a much wiser balance between exploitation and conservation of natural resources in order to achieve sustainable systems that would avoid environmental degradation (Butt, 1985).
The quality of the aquatic medium determines success to a very large extent in fisheries and aquaculture. Paulin (1989) noted that “the aquatic medium is in direct and immediate contact with the metabolic processes of fish”. Relevant soil structure and composition and natural environmental factors (e.g. pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, temperature, salinity) all influence the quality of the medium, which is turn determines the health of the fish and their performance.
For quite some time now, Nigerian freshwater ecosystems are being damaged and degraded at accelerating rates by toxic contamination from industrial and urban pollution, infectious diseases, dam construction, irrigation, factory farming, forest and wetland destruction. Consequently, there has been a steady increase in the quality and diversity of discharges that reach our freshwater environment (Anko & Eyo, 2001).
Without question, the lack of available quality inland areas has emerged as the greatest threat to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Freshwater must be a national commons. Most human beings in developing countries like Nigeria view freshwater as a universal heritage of society. Our common societal heritage of freshwater demands ecological maturation in the use of these finite resources. According to Ita (1993), in every regard to national health, agriculture and economics, the continued over exploitation and misuse of finite freshwater resources is directly causal to the progressively deteriorating fish production and general standard of living. We must recognize that fisheries and aquaculture development depends on maintaining satisfactory water quality. The integration of basic understanding of the inland water systems with applied problems and their solutions should be of concern to all stakeholders in our freshwater resources.
The study highlights the importance of quality inland area in Nigeria for fisheries including aquaculture and examines the various sources of degradation their impacts and possible control measures for effective development of aquaculture.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Degradation of inland waters in Nigeria occurs in both rural and urban areas. In the rural areas inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes are usually polluted by inorganic substances used in agricultural activities usually pollute streams and lakes. Such substances include fertilizers pesticides and herbicides. These substances applied on farmlands are sometimes washed down by rain into stagnant ponds and pools of water on the plain and also into storage reservoirs. Excessive load of fertilizers (nutrients) in the water, generate, excessive growth of phytoplankton, which in turn can lead to high biological oxygen demand, thus resulting in aquatic degradation as a result of drastic oxygen depletion of the water, causing much stress to the great majority of fish species, which gradually die off. Many factories in Nigeria are located on riverbanks and use the rivers as open sewers for their effluent. Improper disposal of untreated industrial wastes has resulted in -coloured, murky, odorous and unwholesome freshwaters, fish-kills and a loss of water quality. The major industries responsible for water pollution in Nigeria include petroleum, mining (for gold, tin and coal), wood and pulp, pharmaceuticals, textiles, plastics, iron and steel, brewing, distillery fermentation, paint, beverages and food. However, this study is examining how aquaculture can be developed even with these degradations in Nigeria
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the level of degradations of the inland areas in Nigeria.
- To examine the process of aquaculture development in degraded inland areas in Nigeria.
- To identify the effect of degraded inland area on aquaculture development in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of degradations of the inland areas in Nigeria?
- What is the process of aquaculture development in degraded inland areas in Nigeria?
- What are the effects of degraded inland area on aquaculture development in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The outcome of this study will educate on the level of degradation of the inland area in Nigeria and the effects of these degradations on aquaculture development.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the level of inland area degradation in Nigeria and its effect on aquaculture development.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Anko E.O. and A.A. Eyo (2001). Fisheries Development in Nigeria with Special reference to Cross River State. In. Proceeding of the 17m Annual conference of Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON).
Butt. I.A. (1985). Report on the Industrial Pollution of Jakara Dam, Ministry of Health, Kano State: Nigeria.
Chude. L.A. (1979). Impacts of Kainji Dam and the proposed Jebba-Dam on the fish and Fisheries of Lake Ndakolowu and Middle Niger. A seminar Paper delivered at KLRI, 14p.
FGN (1993). Water Resources Decree No. 101 of August 1993. Federal Government of Nigeria. Government press, Lagos.
Ita, E.O. (1993). Inland Fisheries Resources of Nigeria CIFA Occasional Paper No. 20 FAO Rome. P.120.