The Bayelsa State Government has warned residents against harvesting dead fishes washed ashore by tidal waves around the coastlines of some communities in the Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of the state.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mr Waripamo Amatari, said the consumption of the dead fishes was dangerous to public health.
The state government’s caution came about one month after the Koluama I &II, Ekeni, Fish Town, Foropa, Ezetu I & II and Sangana-communities reported that there were dead fishes on their coastlines.
Last week, the communities claimed that the fishes were killed by toxic substance released from the damaged KS Endeavor gas rig of Chevron Nigeria Limited.
But the company denied the allegation, saying none of its oil and gas installations was discharging any toxic substance.
However, Amatari urged residents to abstain from processing and selling the contaminated fishes that were also floating on the ocean, adding that the incident was being investigated.
He said, “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 fishes can expose the people to cancer, kidney and liver diseases.”