Ornamental Fish Species Potentials of Ikpa River in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Imaobong Emmanuel Ekpo


Fish species were investigated for 12 calendar months from March 2009 – February 2010 forthnightly using traps, gillnets and cast nets from three sampling stations in Ikpa River. Ornamental fish species were sorted out from the pooled samples. The findings revealed that of the 2307 fish specimens sampled, 1074 specimens made up of 38 species and 19 families were of indigenous ornamental fish. The highest contributing family in terms of number of species is Cichlidae (10 species) whereas Schilbeidae (593 specimens; 55.21%) is the highest contributor in terms of total number of specimens sampled. This is followed by Mochokidae and Mormyridae with 4 species each and Cichlidae with 158 specimens (14.70%). At the species level, the highest contributor is Physalia pellucida (577 specimens; 53.72%) and is followed by Erpetoichthys calabaricus (60 specimens; 5.59%). The least contributors were Heterobranchus bidorsalis, Periophthalmus barbarus and Pelvicachromis pulcher (1 specimen; 0.09%). Twelve families recorded only one species each. These great potentials of ornamental fish have been left unexploited and hence, undeveloped. Several species of ornamental fish have been imported into and exported from Nigeria by businessmen. This paper, therefore, highlights the constraints and also makes recommendations for the exploitation and development of ornamental fishery in Akwa Ibom State and its environs.

Keywords: Exotic, Ornamental, Indigenous, Fish species, Ikpa River.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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