Characterization of crude oil impacts and loss of livelihood in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: a fisheries perspective

Kabari Simeon Sam, Ochuko Joshua Erieegha

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Fishes are the most successful group of vertebrates and their number is bigger than all terrestrial vertebrates together. However, fish kill occasioned by oil spills has reduced fish population and habitat, contributed to the loss of livelihood, economic dislocation and food value chain poisoning, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Despite the attendant health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of oil spills on fisheries and fisherfolks, government at different levels is yet to consider sustainable livelihood structures for local communities that suffer deleterious effects of the oil spills. This has severely impoverished the local population whose livelihood is traditionally farming and fishing. In this review, we characterize the toxicity of hazardous substances in crude oil, the impacts on fish mortality, turbidity, declined productivity of plankton, destroyed biodiversity, health status of fishes, dissolved oxygen and loss of livelihoods. A participatory needs assessment for fisherfolks in the Niger Delta, to identify a
sustainable livelihood alternative for local fisherfolks, is recommended. In addition, immediate remediation of polluted sites and rivers in the region is urgently required to enable fisherfolks to return to their traditional livelihoods. This research would serve as an exemplar to regions with similar context as
the Niger Delta suffering Impacts of natural resources mining.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-273
JournalInternational Journal of Maritime and Interdisciplinary Research
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020

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