Sky Journal of Biochemistry Research Vol. 5(4), pp. 031-047, September, 2016.  Available online

ISSN 2315-8786 ©2016 Sky Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Heavy metal concentration in fishes from surface water in Nigeria: Potential sources of pollutants and mitigation measures

Sylvester Chibueze Izah* and Tariwari C. N. Angaye


Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.


*Corresponding author. E-mail:  Tel.: +234703 0192466.


Accepted 22 August, 2016




Waste management and surveillance in Nigeria is grossly inadequate, and of poor quality. Human activities typically release wastes into the environment causing pollution. This paper reviews the various sources of heavy metals in Nigerian environment, concentration of heavy metals in different fish body parts and potential health effects associated with consumption of fishes high in heavy metals. It can be stated that each sector including food processing, industrial, pharmaceutical, and dredging; also oil and gas, fertilizer production and pesticides could influence the release of heavy metal above the regulatory limit (i.e. Federal Environmental Protection Agency). These heavy metals could find their way to the aquatic ecosystem via runoff due to precipitation. Thereby accumulating in fisheries above the limit values recommended by various agencies including Food and Agricultural Organization/ World Health Organization, Median international standard, European Union, United State Environmental Protection Agency and Water Pollution Control Legislation. The incipient effect of heavy metal due to the bioaccumulation of heavy metals from aquatic organisms cannot be overemphasized; hence, the need for caution. This study concludes by suggesting and conducting Impacts Assessment on projects that could lead to environmental pollution and adhering to suggested mitigation measures as stipulated by Federal Environmental Protection Agency guideline.


Key words: Bioaccumulation, fisheries, health impacts, heavy metals, Nigeria, pollutants.

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