Integrating remote sensing approach with pollution monitoring tools for aquatic ecosystem risk assessment and management: a case study of Lake Victoria (Uganda).


:Aquatic ecosystems around the world, lake, estuaries and coastal areas are increasingly impacted by anthropogenic pollutants through different sources such as agricultural, industrial and urban discharges, atmospheric deposition and terrestrial drainage. Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world and the largest tropical lake. Bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, it provides a livelihood for millions of Africans in the region. However, the lake is under threat from eutrophication, a huge decline in the number of native fish species caused by several factors including loss of biodiversity, over fishing and pollution has been recently documented. Increasing usage of pesticides and insecticides in the adjacent agricultural areas as well as mercury contamination from processing of gold ore on the southern shores are currently considered among the most emergent phenomena of chemical contamination in the lake. By the application of globally consistent and comprehensive geospatial data-sets based on remote sensing integrated with information on heavy metals accumulation and insecticides exposure in native and alien fish populations, the present study aims at assessing the environmental risk associated to the contamination of the Lake Victoria water body on fish health, land cover distribution, biodiversity and the agricultural area surrounding the lake. By the elaboration of Landsat 7 TM data of November 2002 and Landsat 7 TM 1986 we have calculated the agriculture area which borders the Lake Victoria bay, which is an upland plain. The resulting enhanced nutrient loading to the soil is subsequently transported to the lake by rain or as dry fall. The data has been inserted in a Geographical information System (ARCGIS) to be upgraded and consulted. Heavy metals in fish fillets showed concentrations rather low except for mercury being higher than others as already described in previous investigations. In the same tissue, cholinesterases activity (ChE) as an indicator of insecticides exposure showed significant differences among fish species in both activity and sensitivity of selected inhibitor insecticides. This integrated approach aims at identifying and quantifying selected aquatic environmental issues which integrated with monitoring techniques such as contaminant concentrations and biological responses to insecticides exposure in fish populations will provide a scientific basis for aquatic zones management and assist in policy formulations at the national and international levels.


Environ Monit Assess


Focardi S,Corsi I,Mazzuoli S,Vignoli L,Loiselle SA,Focardi S




Has Abstract


2006-11-01 00:00:00












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