International Journal of
Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Fish. Aquac.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9839
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJFA
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 225

Full Length Research Paper

Diversity of the edible fishes of the Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria and the public health concerns based on their Lead (Pb) content

F. E. Ajagbe1, A. O. Osibona2 and A. A. Otitoloju1*
  1Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. 2Department of Marine Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 August 2011
  •  Published: 09 February 2012



In this study, a total of eighteen fish species were recorded in the Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria during a one year survey. Among the animals species recorded, the following, Galeoidesdecadactylus, Dentex gibbosus, Elops lacerta, Scomber japonicus, Ethmalosa fimbriata, Lutjanus agennes, Caranx senegallus, Callinectes amnicola, Paeneus notialis and Mytilus edulis were considered to be abundant in the Lagos lagoon based on the frequency of occurrence in fishermen catches. The analysis of the lead content in muscles of the edible fisheries revealed that the animals accumulated measurable quantity of lead in the edible parts. The level of lead detected in most (12 out of 18 species) of the fisheries species were found to be lower than the daily allowable concentration of 2.0 µg/g standard recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Fishes species with high level of lead in their edible parts include Senegal jack, C. senegallus (2.188 µg/g), Bobo croaker, Pseudotolithus elongatus (2.024 µg/g), Cassava croaker, Pseudotolithus senegalensis (3.157 µg/g), crayfish, Penaeus notialis (25.46µg/g), edible mussel, Mytilus edulis (17.69 µg/g) and crab,Callinectes amnicola (10.19 µg/g). The mean levels of lead in Mytilus edulis, Penaeus notialis, and Callinectes amnicola collected from the Lagos lagoon were about 8 to 24 times higher than the WHO daily allowable standards for lead in sea foods and are therefore unsafe for human consumption. The need for regular monitoring of the levels of metals and other contaminants in edible fisheries resources and collaboration between environmental, health and food agencies to avert human tragedies due to lead accumulation are discussed.


Key words: Bioaccumulation, lead, industrial pollution, aquatic ecosystem, biomonitoring.