A Hydrobiologist/Fish Parasitologist at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof. Diane Akudo Avoaja has called for strict enforcement of the laws on fishing, especially to prohibit the use of poisons and explosives.
Avoaja who made the call while delivering the 49th Inaugural Lecture of the university titled: “Within The Hydrosphere, Fishes And Freshwaters: Availability and Sustainability in the Ecosystem,” said poisoning is often practiced in shallow inlet rivers and reservoirs where spawning usually occurs.
She said any application of poison in such areas inevitably leads to mass mortality of juvenile fishes that are the most dominant age group in these waters.
According to her, apart from the mass destruction of juvenile fishes, poisoning should be prohibited because most of the fishes killed by this method are often only recovered on the second or third day after the application of the poison and are consequently not fit for human consumption.
“This practice must be prohibited because it can lead to large scale wastage of fish, hence most of the fish killed by explosives sink to the bottom of the lake and will require diving to recover them.
“The fishermen who use explosives often dive to pick up the fishes from the bottom of the lake, but that recovery of the fishes must be negligible because of their inability to search for reasonably long periods under water.”
She said incidentally, the bodies of these fishes decay at the bottom of the lake and cause pollution of the water, noting that: “fishes caught with explosives can easily be identified in the market because of the mutilations on their bodies caused by the explosives.