Fishermen operatingÂ in Akwa Ibom say they need divine intervention to end the dwindling fish catch occasioned by the Dec. 4, 2009 oil spill from the Qua Iboe oil fields.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, (MPN) operators of the Qua Iboe oil export terminal in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom, reported that a leak from its pipeline caused the discharge of crude into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Chairman of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria in Akwa Ibom, Rev. Samuel Ayadi, said that fishermen had been praying for an early rain to â€œcleanse the watersâ€.
Ayadi told journalists in Eket that the rains would not only cleanse the waters, but would also enable fish to breed.
He said, â€œThe frequent oil spills from the oil fields pose great danger to our livelihood, as crude oil is toxic to aquatic life.
â€œAnd each time oil spills, the fishes are killed while the few surviving ones migrate to the high sea. Our hope lies in heavy rains and that is why we have been praying.
â€œIt has been very difficult for our members since the last spill in December last year, we toil day and night and end up with scanty catch that cannot offset the cost of fuel for the boats.â€
Ayadi said that more than 4,000 fishermen who are members of his association had their fishing nets and accessories contaminated by crude oil from the Dec. 4, oil spill.
He said that the slow pace of oil spill compensation process made it difficult for fishermen, who lost their fishing nets and accessories to get back to sea immediately.