Article thumbnail

Impact of oil exploration on fisherfolks' livelihood and safety of fisheries industry in Nigeria

By M. Yarhere


There have been many outcries in the Nigerian media on the various environmental degradation of the vast water space in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria by oil explorers. About 70% of the Nigerian populace lives in the coastal areas where the occupation is predominantly fishing and farming. For most of the publications, the extents of impact on the fishing industry are not addressed in order for solutions to be given. Production from the fisheries sector has dropped astronomically thereby earning the country a deficit due to importation of frozen fish to the country. In this study, a survey of three states (Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta) in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria was done. The communities studied include Ogulagha, Okobelema and Okpoama. Personal interviews with fishermen and primary data on the sector’s contribution to fish production and GDP were also carried out. The study aimed at finding out the sources and nature of degradation and the impacts such have on the fishing industry and the socio-economics of the fishermen. The study revealed that there are no significant difference in the negative impacts of environmental degradation caused by the activities of the oil companies on the socio-economics of the fishermen ((F2,27=0.59, P>0.05)) The difference is not significant and the hypothesis is therefore accepted. The major impact on fishing was depletion in catches and low income earnings by fishermen with a resultant poor quality of living and livelihood. Oil spills, foreign vessels incursions and bunkering, vandalization of pipelines were identified sources of depletion in fish catches from the wild. The personal interviews and Focus Group Discussion (FGDs) showed that most heads of communities rely on the remuneration they get from the companies and refused to mobilize the fishermen for joint action against the oil companies. Mitigation measures usually carried out by the oil companies do not actually replenish the destroyed mangroves where breeding of fishes take place. The communities need the Government to institute high level surveillance of the high seas and monitor the activities of oil explorers as well as education of the communities on the effects of bunkering near shoreline

Topics: Fisheries, Pollution, Sociology
Publisher: Fisheries Society of Nigeria
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Aquatic Commons

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.