By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—BAYELSA State government has warned residents to abstain from harvesting, processing, eating or selling dead fishes currently littering the Atlantic coastline.
The warning followed reports of massive death of fishes floating noticed since mid March on the coastline of the Niger Delta deposited by tidal waves occasioned by the pollution of the river.
Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Environment, M Warimapo Amatari, in a statement, yesterday, in Yenagoa, said that consumption of the dead fishes posed threat to public health.
“People in the coastline communities are advised to henceforth, refrain from collecting, processing, drying and eating the dead fishes as they are bound to be contaminated.
“The fishes appear to be contaminated by heavy metal compounds and sludge from preliminary observation and eating such fish can expose the people to cancer, kidney and liver diseases.
“So our advise is that the processing and drying of such fishes and transporting to Yenagoa, the state capital should be stopped pending the outcome of the investigation to ascertain the cause of the death of the fishes.
“The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with other government agencies are investigating the matter and in the interest of public health, we want the people to keep away from the dead fishes,” Amaitari said.