Lecturer, University of Uyo, Nigeria
Justina I R Udotong has received her PhD in Biochemical Toxicology from University of Calabar, Nigeria in 2004. She has participated in various professional trainings in Europe and Nigeria. Her research interests include indoor air pollution, environmental monitoring, health risk assessment, environmental and hospital waste management and uptake of pollutants from contaminated soils and water. She currently lectures in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Nigeria. She is a Member of the Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NSBMB); Society for Experimental Biology of Nigeria (NICEB); Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD); Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) and Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN).
Current daily crude oil production in Nigeria stands at about 2.5 MBOPD, placing Nigeria as 6th largest oil producer in the world. Petroleum exploration and production (E and P) is thus the mainstay of the country’s economy, contributing about 85% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. All phases of petroleum E and P activities generate wastes streams that could impact environment negatively, if not properly managed. Huge proportions of produced petroleum are lost into the environment as spills and through other sources. These and petroleum E and P wastes streams find their way into inland waters and oceans with ultimate effects on aquatic biodiversity in general and seafood, in particular. Effects of petroleum E and P activities on seafood range from physical contamination leading to poor seafood health and quality, manifesting in fish tainting, to toxic effects and finally to death as a result of pollution. Standard analytical protocols were adopted for physicochemical analyses of coastal water samples, fish tissues and histological studies. Effects of petroleum E and P waste streams, oil spills and other activities on seafood have been determined and are enormous. Attempts are made to highlight effects of petroleum activities on production of seafood and some of our field observations and research findings in past years, with a view to justify the effects of petroleum E and P activities on production and management of seafood in Nigeria. These impacts may be partly due to the “lip-service” integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) into petroleum E and P operations in Nigeria and partly because of lack of responsible business practices (RBP) by the proponents of petroleum E and P projects. Non-enforcement of existing legal framework due to duplicity and overlap of functions of the regulators and lack of political will power also contribute to the effects of petroleum E and P activities on seafood production and management in Nigeria. As a way forward, some suggestions have been proffered.