The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has attributed the presence of dead fishes littering the Atlantic coastline in the Niger Delta to toxic wastes discharged from domestic and industrial sources.
NOSDRA had in May said it was coordinating a multi-agency investigation to unravel the cause of the massive deaths of fishes along the nation’s coastline.
The Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that the high toxicity of the water was caused by heavy metals from industrial and domestic wastes.
Mr. Idris explained that other relevant government agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Federal Institute for Fisheries Research (FIFR) partnered with NOSDRA to carry out an investigation into the likely cause of the deaths.
He said the results of tests confirmed that the deaths were not linked to oil leakage as the level of hydrocarbon in the samples was within the regulatory limit.
He said, “The results of the laboratory tests were perused, and we make an explanation on the parametres of concerns that were analysed for the purpose of clarity and understanding.
“The findings did not show hydrocarbon (oil) as the possible cause of the deaths of the fishes.
“In the course of the analyses, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAR), Benzene, Toluene Ethylene and Xylene (BTEX) were within regulatory standard limits in water sediments and fish tissue analyses.
“However, there were some heavy metals such as Cadmium, Chromium Copper, Zinc and Iron that exceeded regulatory standard limits in the coastlines of the three states of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.”