Authour: BEN-FRED JOSY CHUKS
Fresh water fishes are important sentinels of environmental conditions and play a crucial role
in the ecology and sustainability of natural ecosystem. The decline of fresh waterfishes in
Orashi River is one of the greatest impending environmental crisis facing Ogba inhabitants.
This work tackles the decline of fresh water fishes of Orashi River in Ogba Kingdom of Rivers
State, Nigeria. Remote and immediate threats of this decline had been described as they affect
the environment including natural climate defects. Seventy (70) respondents were confronted
with verbal questionnaire structured Yes or No. Members of the larger Ogba Communities,
Rivers State of Nigeria mostly the fisher-folk form the respondents. Findings show that remote
and immediate causes of the decline are the greatest factors to this surge withclimate change at
a low ebb. One of such factors on the climate change is the inconsistence offlood in the region.
Keywords: Decline ofFishes,Freshwater,Ecosystem, Orashi, Ogba,AcuaticEcozone
Orashi is a zone that comprises of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Ahoada West
Local GovernmentArea, Abua/Odual Local Government Area and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local
Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. It is located in the Northern part of Rivers State and
bounded by the Orashi River which the zone derives its name. Orashi River is a fresh water and
the major river that flows across Ogba. Other estuaries of the Orashi River are for example;
Sombreiro River (Nkissa), River Omoku and other adjoining lakes like Ebiam in Obrikom,
Onita Creek, Otua and many others which flow into it. Orashi River is a tributary of the River
Niger from which it increases after receiving water from it during flood. Orashi River has its
source at Okija in Anambra State. One of the Estuaries of the Orashi River, the Sombrero
(Nkissa) crossestoEgbema in Imo State and finally empties atRiver Omoku.
However, Ogba inhabitants are fishermen by occupation whose fishing expertise solely
relies on the Orashi River. The major tools of the fishermen in Ogba are hooks (Ukpo), fishing
baskets (Echira), spears (Okniyna), dragnets (Igbo) and nets (Eri). The local locomotive boat is
Ugboakiri otherwise known as 404 because it floats and moves very fast when manipulated with
paddle because it accommodates one person only. Orashi River volume of water increases
annually in the month of August through September. Flood helps fishes in diverse means as
quantity of fish isincreased; fishesinterbreed and food or prey are found in greater quantity. For
over ten (10) years before the year 2012 of the great flood, flooding has been in low ebb thereby
affecting fish increase in the river.
Fresh water fishes constitute half the number of fishes in all number of fishes in all the
water bodies (Walsh 2009). Fish decline is termed to be the greatest impending environment
crises facing humanity which is the same to Ogba fishermen. Fresh water fishes are important
sentinels of environmental conditions and play crucial role in the ecology and sustainability of
Ben-Fred Josy Chuks, School of Secondary Education (Arts & Social Sciences), Federal
College ofEducation Omoku,Rivers State, Nigeria…
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