The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin (Ekehuan Campus), Professor George Edaghogho Eriyamremu, has urged consumers of cadmium-laden catfish head and food to brace-up for respiratory tract and kidney problems.
He raised the red flag after his research finding revealed that catfish (Clarias gariepinus) gill heads’ which is the major reservoir of cadmium toxic in local ponds whose soil is contaminated by petroleum crude and other ponds around industrial areas in the southern part of the Country were poisonous.
The Professor of Microbiology (Nutrition and Toxicology), spoke against the risky behaviours while delivering the 195th Inaugural lecture series of University of Benin (UNIBEN) entitled: “Is it a myth or shift in Culture? The Environment as a judge.
He said: “You will agree with me that the time of eating fresh river fish which was an important component of the diet of our grandparents in Southern Nigeria is fast giving way for ice fish and even more so now those from fish ponds. The commonly farmed fish from fish ponds is the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).
When we go out in some miliki sessions, we order for several number of smoked African catfish specially prepared with nice tasting spices. Giving the increasing g suspicion of environmental pollution from Industrialisation, there may be environmental cadmium toxicity.
There is a heavy mental that is very poisonous and it is called cadmium. Cadmium is present in Cigarette. It is also present where you have pollutants. When a fish grows in such water, or such soil, it can take up that cadmium. If you eat the fish, the cadmium can translate to man; And the part of the fish that concentrate cadmium is found in the kidney and the gill of a fish. That is why I mentioned it.
I use to eat head of before very well before now, but I have stopped. I only eat the head of fish I cleaned up myself”, he said. He however urged stakeholders in Education sector to “encourage research” which he claimed has is the key to the answers to the problems we have.
He also advocated that proper implementation of environmental laws to protect the environment and the creation of oil mineral area producing commissions in the oil-producing states to adequately address the problems in the region formed part of the recommendation of Professor Eriyamremu at the lecture which was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution.
Professor Eriyamremu, became famous as a voice students and Academia could no longer ignore before he was named a Professor by the University in 2007, a feat which has earned him over 70 scholarly publications in Local and International journals.