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GEO00365 - ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE ON FISH PRODUCTION


CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.0      Background to the study

 

Climate is the weather condition of a place over a long period of time. The world climate is changing and it has made many towns and cities vulnerable to environmental hazards. In recent times, flooding has been one of the recurrent problems in most part of the world especially in Nigeria as a result of climate change. This climate change has great impact on agriculture especially fish production; the effect of climate on fish production is flooding because it has led to the displacement and extinction of several species of fish from the water bodies in Nigeria. The effect of climate change which is as the result of human activities has affected Nigeria and the world in general. Climate change is one of the global environmental issues; it is indisputable that 95% was caused by anthropogenic activities such as burning of fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas), cement manufacturing, vehicular emissions, black carbon among others while natural factors such as volcanic eruption, orbital variation, ocean variability contributed insignificantly. Climate change has been said to impact fresh water fisheries through the increasing changes in water temperature and nutrient levels.

 

The implications of climate change for food security and livelihoods in Nigeria are profound Fishers, fish farmers and coastal inhabitants will bear the full force of this impact through less stable livelihoods, changes in the availability and quality of fish for

 

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food and rising risk of their health, safety and home. (IPCC, 2001). A lot of people all over the world depend directly or indirectly on fisheries for their livelihood mostly in developing countries. According to Anderson (2004), fishery requires knowledge and skills of the many general aspects of production such as spawning of feeds e.t.c. Fisheries constitute an important sector in Nigerian agriculture, providing valuable food and employment to millions and also serving as a source of livelihoods mainly for women in coastal communities (Adebesin, 2011).

 

According to the fisheries society of Nigeria, small scale fisheries provide more than 82% of the domestic fish supply, giving livelihoods to one million fishermen and up to 5.8 million fisher folks in the secondary sector comprising processing, preservation, marketing and distribution. Constraints to increased fish production in Nigeria include poor infrastructures, high level of rural poverty (over 80% of rural poor live below the poverty line), environmental problems e.g pollution in coastal areas arising from gas flaring,oil spills and industrial wastes, climate change effects (sea level rise, coastal erosion and flooding increased environmental temperatures and wind storms) and degradation of coastal areas through human action e.g sand filling that destroys breeding ground.(Adebesin 2011). In 1990, the Nigerian man and biosphere committee organized a state of knowledge workshop on Nigerian wetlands, which in a broad sense include flood plains, lakes, reservoirs and swamps. Among the contributions to the workshop are those of Moses, (1990), on the distribution, ecology and fisheries potentials of Nigerian wetlands, Powell, (1990), on the ecological effects of human activities on the value and

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resources of Nigerian wetlands, Kinako, (1990), on the structure and function of some Nigerian wetland ecosystems, Verinumbe, (1990), on wetlands in the Sahelian north-eastern Nigeria and Okafor, (1990), on soils of some Nigerian savannah and forest wetlands. The evidences on the impact of climate change on fishery with serious implications on the livelihoods of communities and food security in Ado- Odo Ota local government areas of Ogun state is increasing on a daily basis. Thus, this present study is focused on the impact of climate on fish production.

 

1.1      Statement of the problem

 

Ado Odo Ota local government is located in Ogun state in the rainforest zone belt of Nigeria; the state has a tropical climate. Climate extremes such as flood and drought affect the distribution and population of fishes in the river. The study area is noted with annual flooding due to heavy rainfall during the rainy season. Such heavy rainfall brings about the displacement of fishes from rivers and ponds. Fish farming is vulnerable to flood because most fish farmers in the study area have their fish ponds in swampy areas which is liable to flooding. Most of the fish farmers are into artificial fish production of using plastic containers. These containers are often swept away by the force of the flood leading to loss of large numbers of fishes. An example of the problem was when the State experienced an unprecedented heavy rainfall in the year 2012 which resulted in serious flooding that led to loss of fishes worth millions of Naira.

 

 

 

 

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1.2        Research questions

 

  • Is rainfall the main cause of flooding in the local government area?

 

  • to what extent has the climate of the state affected fish production in the local government area?

 

  • what is the magnitude of damage done by climate to fish production in the study area?

 

  • what are the other effects of climate in the local government area?

 

1.3       Aim and objectives

 

The aim of this research is to assess the impact of climate on fish production and in order to attain the aforementioned aim of this study the following objectives are considered

 

  • examination of the rainfall pattern of the study area from 1987-2017;

 

  • description of the socio economic characteristics of respondent in the study area;

 

  • identification of the challenges facing the farmers and marketing operation of fish produced

 

  • assessment of the effect of climate on fish production in the area and

 

  • examination of the type of fish farming practiced in the study area

 

1.4     Significant of study

 

The climate hazard of the study area is flooding and the main cause is heavy rainfall which has led to loss of fishes. It has also affected the distribution of fish across the state. This research work will not shed more light on how flood has affected fish production

 

 

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alone but also on the opinions of people on the impact of climate generally on fish farmers in the study area. The result obtained from this research will be of reference to other research work, provide measures to be taken.

 

1.5       Scope of the study

 

The subject matter of this study is assessing the impact of climate on fish production which entails an assessment of climate and its impact on fish production in Ota local government area of Ogun state. It also involves collection of data on the annual rainfall pattern and flood records of the study area for a period of 1987-2017. Data on the rate of fish production and distribution in the study area will be collected for similar period. Also questionnaire will be used to know the opinions of people on the impact of climate on fish production.