Management And Conservation Of In-land Fisheries Resources In Nigeria

Management And Conservation Of In-land Fisheries Resources In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Osimiri Dudu Flood Pond In Anambra State)

Management And Conservation Of In-land Fisheries Resources In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Osimiri Dudu Flood Pond In Anambra State)


Considering the dynamic nature of ecosystem and its relation to human existence an adequate review of past research work are need. It is at this level that the research want to review related literature in this area of study.

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Lane and Stephenson (1995) define fisheries management as he rigorous application of the scientific method of problem solving in the development of strategic alternative and their evaluation on the basis of objectives that integrate biological economic social and operational factors into management decision making. The researchers stated that fisheries management in the future will require that biological assessment be combined appropriately with operational social and economic considerations towards effective management of the complex fisheries system. They found out that most in-land water bodies in Africa does not consider these factors when planning. They pointed out two key factor that are responsible for this. These are.

1. The lack of a conceptual and organizational frame work for integrated and participatory decision making and.

2. The lack of more appropriate methodologies for dealing with divers sources of information, interdisciplinary objective and the inherent uncertainly of these systems. The researcher proposed that an integration of traditional fisheries science with other aspects of fisheries management and the field of management science in a new discipline of fisheries management science are needed. They concluded that lack of it integrated and participatory decision making from local communities and government agencies makes it almost impossible for effective and efficient fisheries management.


In 1993, Christie in a research study on “developing the concept of sustainable fisheries in Canada” found out that fish stocking are in declining trend due to over-exploitation in most quote precautionary measures are not taking the world would likely approach the limit to fish yield. The researcher suggested that a new strategy is needed to integrate aquatic econ system management into the large context of “environment sustainable development which would need a span jurisdiction economy planning .

She concluded that most in-land water bodies still practice “unorthodox” system of fisheries management system which is no longer practicable within the recent conventional government infrastructures and community management methods. May be if this research work had been conducted in the developed country the finding would have been different because what constitute an unorthodox system of fisheries management in developed countries may not be the some in developing countries. This would have further influence her conclusion.


Turner; Folk and Betemen in their research study “it primary and secondary value of wet land ecosystem with its environmental consideration” the observed that wetland are consciously degraded in many part of the world. One reason is the lack of an appropriate valuation of multi functionality of wetland. This in turn disrupt the normal cycle of fish spawning and propagation and this result to low yield in fish production.

In an attempt to improved the understanding of the importance of the feature of wetland and attractive classification of value is suggested by the researchers. These are primary and secondary value. Primary value refers to the development and maintenance of ecosystem their self organizing capacity. Secondary are defined as the output life support functions and service generated by wetland. The researchers used three case studies with different valuation methods and which to different degrees capture the primary and secondary value. It was concluded that he reason for persistence degradation of in-land water bodies is as a result of government in ability to evaluated and recognize the numerous uses of in-land water bodies so as to put in place an appropriate polices or measures that would make way for rotational fishing activity. (closed season area).

Similarly Moffat and Linden (1995) “perception and reality. Assessing priorities for sustainable development in in-land fisheries management” said “ the Niger Delta is the richest part of Nigeria in terms of natural resources. The area has large oil and gas deposits, as well as extensive forest good agricultural land and abundant fish resources. Despite it the tremendous natural and human resource base the region’s potential for sustainable development remains unfulfilled and its future is being threatened by environmental degradation and deteriorating economic condition which are not being addressed by present policies and action. With this they conclude that it is very obvious that Nigerian government is unconcerned about her environmental status. The researcher also pointed out that ceaseless oil spillage in the region also contribute to the dilapidation of water bodies which invariably effect fish production.


Barbier (1993) sustainable use of wetlands valuing tropical wetland benefits economic methodologies and application. In this study the researcher said that “tropical wetlands are increasingly disappearing as the result of development decision” he pointed out that common examples are conversion of mangrove swamps to fish pond diverting water away from river flood plains draining wetlands for agriculture constructing irrigation site and other land uses and over-loading wetland with pollution. he discovered that more often such developmental decision are taken without considering the loss in wetland benefits arising form damages and conversion. The underlying assumption is often that the net benefit to society of any development option must presumably be greater. However there is much evidence to suggest that this assumption is not always correct. Barbier also pointed out that most tropical wetlands are being directly exploited often through non-market informal economic activity to support human livelihoods example through unregulated fishing hunting fuel wood extraction and water supply. It concluded that the basic methodology for assessing and valuing the economic benefits of tropical wetland is relatively straight forward but difficult to apply because of data and resource constraints.

A further application of this study on Nigerian floodplain shows how calculation of a few direct use value alone for agriculture and unregulated fishing demonstrated that wetland benefits are significant particularly when contrasted with the benefits form irrigation project that are diverting water away from flood plain. The study shows that sustainable economic returns to local inhabitants and these benefits should be excluded as an opportunity cost of any sheme that divert water away from wetland system.


Scudder and Connelly (1985) identified three categories of management system in captue fisheries using Amazon basin Zambezi River and Kafue flood plains respectively. The two major one’s are traditional and modern system they defined traditional management strategies as those activities which included ritual prohibition water tenure and application of magical mystic during fishing. Modern strategies includes: gear restriction closed season and flood plain intensification. The researcher found that modern management system is mostly concerned with increasing fish production and generation of revenue for government at the expense of local community. On the other hand traditional management system was found to seek for defense/control of fishing right for community generating income/ food for both government and community and most importantly conserving fish stocks. This they concluded that in-land water bodies can be effectively and efficiently managed through the use of traditional/ community base approach.


Ita Bolagun (1983) studied the impact of the use of explosives and poisonous substance in fishing using Oguta lake as a case study. The researcher found out that poisoning is often practiced in shallow inlets of rivers and reservoirs where spawning usually occurs. The stressed that any application of poison substance in such area inevitably lead to mass mortality of Juvenil fish that are most dominant age group in these vegetated inshore areas. They also discovered that during this practice most adult fish move out into deeper water to avoid the poisoned are in view of the fact that the effect of the poison diminishes with incases in water volume but these adult fish are then killed with explosive mechanism.

Apart from mass destruction of Juvenil fish as was observed by Ita and Bolagun most of the fish killed by this method are aften only recovered on the second or third day after the application of the poison and are therefore not fit for human consumption. The researchers concluded that the stock of the explosives and the use of the poison are subsequently result to the rapture of the swinbledder of the fish this reducing the buoyancy of the fish in water.

Alabaster (1981) reviewed the state of aquatic pollution of East Africa in-land water. He is investigations confirm that pesticides are being used increasingly in the countries water bodies. It has cause unwanted fish kills and has been found in the tissue of fish sometime at concentrations which have given course for conern because they might be approaching values having long term and sub-lethal adverse effect. Few tests have been carried out to measure that toxicity of pesticides to African species of fish and no long term test or regular monitoring programs for concentration in fish have yet been carried out although several proposals are in the pipeline. Some of the countries (but not all) have a system for screaning pesticide for safety and for issuing advice of safe use including information on toxicity to fish. The application of pesticides which caused fish kills has aroused concern about possible long-term and sub-lethal effect on fish including the accumulation of chemical in edible fish tissue with resultant adverse effect on humans.


Foreign observer frequently content that fishing in Africa lakes rivers and their associated wetland is usually haphazard. This is not unconnected with the fact that there are no laws and regulations controlling the exploitation of the fisheries of most African in-land water. Even where such laws and regulation exist they are not often enforced. In Nigeria, the management of in-land water is regarded as the excusive responsibility of the state to which such water bodies belong. Where as there is a sea fisheries decrees act of 1971 as well as the relevant fishery regulation and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) decree of 1978 which enable the federal government to control regulate and protect the sea fisheries resources there is at present no such uniform law for in-land fisheries legislation ahs been advance by the federal department of fisheries based on the need to harmonize the administration management protection and improvement of the fisheries resources in in-land water including rivers reservoirs lake and their associated wetland. Although it could be argued that these water are within state boundaries and should therefore be subject to state legislation the water usually traverse more than one state. Apart from the fact that fish do not respect state boundaries migratory fish often enter channel which pass though more than one state. Consequently action or lack of action by one state usually have a profound effect on the fishery resources and fishing in another state. (Ita 1983). Although all these reason more than justify the need for central federal legislations action on the promulgation of such laws and regulations has yet to materialized.

In 1994 the author produced a model draft in-land fisheries laws and regulation which was widely circulated to all the state later it was discussed and modified for adoption by delegates from the state at a meeting convened by he national institute for fresh water fisheries research (NIFFR) formally called Kainji Kake research institute in April 1985. The major aspects considered in the drafted laws and regulations includes:

• Composition and definition of the in-land water bodies of Nigeria.

• Definition of ownership of these inland water bodies.

• Licensing of fishermen crafts gears and clod rooms.

• Fisheries laws and regulation

• Offences and penalties

• Definition of the law enforcement agencies and implementing agencies.

It a pointed out that many state of the federation frowned to this laws and this it because impracticable. A few state have extracted aspect from this draft to promulgate their edicts but in the absence of federal in-land fisheries laws and regulation complemented by lack of adequately enforced state fisheries edicts in virtually all state of the federation there is presently no uniform federal in-land fisheries management policy in Nigeria.


From the computation on table 4.16 we could see that the test statistic x2 is greater that the critical or table value we therefore reject the null hypothesis (H0) and accept the alternative hypothesis .

Therefore we conclude that the use of toxic substance tremendously affect the propagation of fish in in-land water bodies.

Similarly in table 4.18 the calculated value x2 is also greater than critical value ie. (332> 5.991) we therefore reject the null hypothesis (Ho) and accept the alternative hypothesis. We can then concluded that traditional management system is the best and the general acceptable management technique in the local community



The main purpose of this study was to find out the best management technique to be employed in managing in-land water bodies in Nigeria in order to ensure an appropriate preservation of our fisheries resource. Osimiri Dudu flood pound was used as a case study.

From the research study the researcher found out that the major constraints on the development of artisan fisheries in the major in-land water in Nigeria have been identified as inadequate supply of inputs to the artisanal fishermen. Most of the fishing grounds are located far away from the source of supply for fishing input and added to the extremely high cost of inputs and the non-availability of capital to artisanal fishermen they are unable to equip their units for effective operation.

The changing nature of the seasonal stream river and pools frequently leads to low productivity of those water bodies and to poor fish catches by the fishermen. This naturally leads to a low income base and poor standards for the fishermen. This cannot be avoided particularly along the flood plains of seasonal rivers disturbed by either drought or artificial water control by reservoir authorities under this condition full time fishermen have to search for alternative occupations such a flood plain of farming with residual soil moisture during the dry season and this lead to over exploitation

Poor management of the water bodies by government authorities results in low productivity and consequently low catches by the fishermen. This is caused by the absence of fisheries edict in most in-land states and lack of enforcement of such edict in the state where they have been promulgated. This has led to the use of undesirable fishing gears and unorthodox fishing method by some fishermen and also the application of very destructive fishing method by other.

Unlike in some Northern State such as Sokoto Kano and Kebbi State where fishing right and power to authorize and to stop fishing in different pouds is often announced by the “Sarikin Ruwa” or chief of the fishermen Anambra State has no such intentional management strategy .

A dear example of an intentional management strategy (Traditional management system) involving gear restriction operation is in the Argungu Local government of Kebbi State. Here the use of gillnets is prohibited in order to protect the fishery from over-exploitation and conserve the resource for the popular Argungu fishing festival.

There is also a shortage of trained manpower at different levels of the profession for effective capture fisheries project implementation development planning and administration. There is also inadequate dissemination of information on fisheries activities and resource potential cum processing marketing and resource management. In short extension service are inadequate. The means through which these extension service are implemented are in appropriate. Often in state where these extension are in place they use filed staff to enforce and implement them without given adequate notice to the local chief who are charged with the responsibility of collecting licensing for cum fisheries statistical records from the finding it was discovered that these field staff has taken up the responsibility of collecting licensing fees thereby leaving their official duties which are often concerned with fishery developmental effort by way of demonstration and training of fishermen. The combination of these development roles and fee licensing collection by these filed staff create friction between them and local chiefs.

In addition to this one of the most negated aspect of fisheries in Nigeria is resource survey of in-land water. There has not been any systematic survey of in-land fisheries resource for the past fifteen was conducted in 1976 with assistance of FAO since the further arrempt to update the records have been frustrated by inadequate finding

Another major constraint is the fact that most fisheries communities have no access road this rendering marketing and distribution of fish difficult and also creating problems for extension services where such are organized. It is also common knowledge that most fishing communities in Nigeria and other developing countries lack basic amenities such a water supply health facilities and schools for their children


From the finding gotten from the research survey the researcher can then make the following conclusion.

In order to guard against undue increase in fishing effort gear size regulation (or quota regulation) must be enforced along with mesh size. The major factor tot be considered is gear size regulation given the stipulated number of boats or fishermen tot be allowed to fish in water body. In addition to the above regulation generalized law prohibiting the use of unorthodox fishing methods such as poisoning and explosives should also be promulgated to guard against indiscriminate killing of juvenile fish and waste of fish biomass. Poisoning is often practiced in shallow inlets of rivers and reservoirs where spawning usually occurs. Any application of poisonous substance in such area inevitable leads to mass mortality of juvenile fish that are the most dominate age group in these vegetated in shone areas. A part from the mass destruction of juvenile fish poisoning should be prohibited because most of the fish killing by this method are often only recovered on the second or third day after the application of the poison and one therefore not fit for human consumption.

Fishery edict could, however be enforced in large flood plain lake and pools to conserve the species for the following spawning season. Prohibition of the use of gillnets below the minimum recommended mesh should be enforce in all large bodies of water within the flood plain. Also the construction of fish fences for trapping migratory spawners and fish returning to the main channel of the river through back water should be prohibited. These barriers have been observed to be abandoned often the fishing season and could constitute obstacles to migratory spawners during subsequent breeding season

Closed season method which is regarded as the traditional method of flood plain management should be enforced. Specific study may be necessary in order to determine the particular area or season to be closed to fishing before regulation are formed. Area to be closed to fishing should be the spawning ground of most fishes. For example shallow flood plain area of lake reservoirs and rivers. The same area should be closed to fishing duering the peak breeding season which often corresponds with the period of the high flood


As the demand for water increases the full economic and social value for freshwater fisheries and the potentials of aquaculture need to be recorgnized and managed as on integral part of effort to enhance water productivity improve food security and sustain rural livelihoods. More effective engagement of stakeholders in river flood plain lake and reservoir fisheries through decentralized management institution will be required to achieve this while investment to foster hydrological social economic and institutional constraints and opportunities provides by each location.

The traditional system of fisheries management which stemed from local community and have historical continuity among a group of people is to be regarded as the best management technique to be apply. Under the traditional system (de jure with reference to traditional law) the fisheries should be classed as common property resources in that the use right for the resources controlled by an identifiable group. The objective of this method would include the control of fishing right and reduction of conflict generation of food/income for the community and most impotently the conservation of fish stocks. The main method of this management system would be the control of occurs and the decision making authorities headed by the leader of the community and traditional government.

Management And Conservation Of In-land Fisheries Resources In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Osimiri Dudu Flood Pond In  Anambra State)

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
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Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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