An Analysis On The Impacts Of Marine Pollution To Shipping Operations And Marine Environment (Case Study Of The Nigeria Niger Delta Region)

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An Analysis On The Impacts Of Marine Pollution To Shipping Operations And Marine Environment (Case Study Of The Nigeria Niger Delta Region)


The work analyzed marine pollution and impacts in sub Saharan Africa to shipping operations and marine environment, (Case Study of the Nigeria Niger Delta region) is sectioned into five chapters. Chapter one dealt with introduction to the study. Chapter two reviewed the positions of other authors and chapter three dealt with the research methodology. Chapter four and five dealt with data analysis and recommendations respectively.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Information
  • 1.2 Problem Statement
  • 1.3 Research Objectives
  • 1.4 Hypothesis
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study

Chapter Two:

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Overview of Marine Pollution
  • 2.2 Marine Pollution by Hazardous and Noxious substatnce (HNS)
  • 2.3 The Non Tanker Spill/Bunker Oil Pollution
  • 2.4 Causes of Marine Pollution in the Niger Delta
  • 2.5 Consequences/Impacts of Marine Pollution in the Niger Delta
  • 2.5.1 Human and Socio-Economic Development of the Niger Delta
  • 2.6 Prevention of Marine Pollution Regulation and Rules
  • 3.6.1 Special Rules for Oil Pollution Damage
  • 2.7 Environmental Protection Laws and Oil Mining Companies in Nigeria

Chapter Three:

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Description of the Study Area 303.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.4 Data Limitation
  • 3.5 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.5.1 Summative Approaches
  • 3.5.2 Simple Percentage
  • 3.5.3 Incremental Averages
  • 3.6 Test of Hypothesis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation of Data, Analysis of Data and Discussion of Findings

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Data Analysis
  • 4.3 Discussion of Findings
  • 4.4 Test of Hypothesis

Chapter Five:

5.0 Summary of Findings Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Marine pollution occurs when harmful, or potentially harmful, effects result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals, particles, industrial, agricultural and residential waste, noise, or the spread of invasive organisms. Eighty percent of marine pollution comes from land. Air pollution is also a contributing factor by carrying off pesticides or dirt into the ocean. Land and air pollution have proven to be harmful to marine life and its habitats.

The pollution often comes from non point sources such as agricultural runoff, wind-blown debris and dust. Nutrient pollution, a form of water pollution, refers to contamination by excessive inputs of nutrients. It is a primary cause of eutrophication of surface waters, in which excess nutrients, usually nitrogen or phosphorus, stimulate algae growth.
Many potentially toxic chemicals adhere to tiny particles which are then taken up by plankton and benthos animals, most of which are either deposit or filter feeders. In this way, the toxins are concentrated upward within ocean food chains. Many particles combine chemically in a manner highly depletive of oxygen, causing estuaries to become anoxic.

When pesticides are incorporated into the marine ecosystem, they quickly become absorbed into marine food webs. Once in the food webs, these pesticides can cause mutations, as well as diseases, which can be harmful to humans as well as the entire food web.

Toxic metals can also be introduced into marine food webs. These can cause a change to tissue matter, biochemistry, behaviour, reproduction, and suppress growth in marine life. Also, many animal feeds have a high fish meal or fish hydrolysate content. In this way, marine toxins can be transferred to land animals, and appear later in meat and dairy products.

Around 90% of world trading is carried out by the shipping industry. Shipping is well thought-out as a safe, economical, and environmental form of commercial transport. Although increasing cases draws public attention to marine pollution, the statistics show a slow but steady decline in maritime pollution over the past 10 years. This decade follows the general shipping safety improvement trend that took place over the 20th century. Records showed a rate of loss of 1% a year in 1910; this rate has improved to the figure of about one ship in every 670 in 2010. Shipping is also a highly regulated domain, and regulations have been reinforced in the last two decades. The main principles underlying shipping regulations are harmonized national.

Marine pollution have potentially harmful effects on the health and livelihood of nearby communities, e.g like gas flaring as they release poisonous chemicals including nitrogen dioxides, sulphurdioxide volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, xylene and hydrogen sulfide, as well as carcinogens like benzapyrene and dioxins. Humans exposed to such substances can suffer from respiratory problems. These chemicals can aggravate asthma, cause breathing difficulties and pain, as well as chronic bronchitis. Benzene, known to be emitted from chemical in water in undocumented quantities, is well recognized as a cause for leukemia and other blood-related diseases. A study done by Climate Justice estimates that exposure to benzene would result in eight new cases of cancer yearly in Bayelsa State alone.

Marine pollution like gas flaring is often close to communities and regularly lack fencing or protections for villagers who risk working near their heat and water. Many communities claim that nearby marine pollution cause acid rain which corrodes their homes and other structures, many of which have zinc-based roofing. Some people resort to using asbestos-based material, which is stronger in repelling acid rain deterioration. Unfortunately, this contributes to their declining health and the health of their environment. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of forming lung cancer, pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Whether or not flares contribute to acid rain is debatable, as some independent studies conducted have found that the sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide content of most flares was insufficient to establish a link between flaring and acid rain. Other studies from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that gas flaring is “a major contributor to air pollution and acid rain.”

Older flares are rarely relocated away from villages and are known to coat the land and communities with soot and to damage adjacent vegetation. Almost no vegetation can grow in the area directly surrounding the flares due to their heat.

In November 2005 a judgment by the Federal High Court of Nigeria ordered that gas flaring must stop in a Niger Delta community as it violates guaranteed constitutional rights to life and dignity. In a case brought against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (Shell), Justice C. V. Nwokorie ruled in Benin City that “the damaging and wasteful practice of flaring cannot lawfully continue.” As of May 2011, Shell had not ceased gas flaring in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The incessant problem of environmental pollution and degradation especially of the marine environment occasioned by oil spill, exploitation and lifting, gas flaring, and introduction of Noxious and harmful substances into the marine environment has over the years caused the destruction of aquatic life, vegetation and the ecosystem. Ironically, the above problem has never been given adequate national attention. Unwholesome practices of ships engaged in coastal trade in Nigeria territorial waters such as sewage disposal at sea, introduction of hazardous substances into sea, chemical fishing activities and even abandonment of wrecks has equally constituted a serious problem of marine environmental pollution and this has continued to go on unchecked. This problem has invariably alienated the indigenes of the affected geographical regions from their traditional sources of earning good living which is fishing and agriculture, thus subjecting them to untold hardship.

Furthermore it has impacted negatively to the development of the Nigeria maritime transport system. The research also identified the following specific problems.(A) There is increasing rate of maritime pollution emanating from oil exploitation and shipping activities which has constituted a serious threat to the development of the region(B) Inefficiency of governmental agencies with the responsibility of protecting the marine environment has made it possible for ships involved in the pollution of the African and Nigeria waters to go unpunished over the years.(C) There is the problem of lack of record of vessels involved in the oil lifting trade which has over the years been involved in the pollution of the marine environment.(D) Lack of or of adequate manpower involved in the policing of the marine environment to ensure compliance to marine environmental laws and regulations.(E) There is a lack of understanding of the impacts of the adoption of MARPOL 73/78 by Nigeria as a maritime nation of worth.(F) There is lack of understanding of volume or quantity of oil being spill on annually basis in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria which has caused serious environmental problems over the years.

1.3 Research Objectives

This study was undertaken majorly to assess the effect marine pollution in sub Saharan Africa and its impact on shipping operation and marine environment in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine the effect of marine pollution on the community of living organisms in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
  2. To ascertain whether there is any significant impact of shipping operation and marine environment in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

During the course of the study, the researcher seeks to provide suitable answers to the problem following the questions below:

  1. Does marine pollution affect the community of living organisms in the Niger Delta?
  2. What is the impact of shipping operation and marine environment on the Niger Deltas of Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. Ho: Marine pollution in the Niger Delta does not affect the community of living organisms in the environment.
    Hi: Marine pollution in the Niger Delta affects the community of living organisms in the environment.
  2. Ho: There is no significant impact of shipping operation and marine environment the Niger Deltas of Nigeria.
    Hi: There is significant impact of shipping operation and marine environment the Niger Deltas of Nigeria.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

Since marine environmental pollution is like introduction into the marine environment and adjacent lands, any substance capable of causing an undesirable and harmful change within the environment and ecosystem. The region depends a lot on the environment for its living and any adverse alteration of the environment will affect adversely the living pattern and standard of the people. The collapse of the marine environment will mean the collapse of the agricultural and economic activities going on in it, and invariably the collapse of the people s standard of living especially in the Niger Delta where majority depends on the marine environment for fishing. farming as well as transportation. A study on the evaluation of marine pollution and the effects in Nigeria is therefore important and significant because it will alert maritime practitioners on the need to protect the marine environment from hazardous effects of environmental pollution. Moreover, the study will enlighten the government on the need to save the region from the untold hardship being caused by oil spillage in the area so as to attract interest to the need for the preservation of the regions traditional occupation of fishing and farming and enthroning a healthy environment.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The study was carried out to investigate the effect of marine pollution in sub Saharan Africa: analysis of the impacts to shipping operations and marine environment in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study is limited to the refineries in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This is because of her representative nature of all the refineries in Nigeria, proximity to the researcher, time and financial constraints.

1.8 Scope Of The Study

This research work is on the effect marine pollution in sub saharan Africa: analysis of the impacts to shipping operations and marine environment in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria with particular emphasis on how it affects the community of living organisms in the environment, with a view to proffer lasting solutions.

1.9 Definition Of Terms


This is an air-like fluid substance which expands freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its quantity.

Gas flaring:

This is the burning of natural gas that is associated with crude oil when it is pumped up from the ground.


An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the non-living components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for further studies.

5.2 Summary

This study was carried out to examine analysis on the impacts of marine population to shipping operations and marine environment. To achieve this objective, three research questions and two research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study. A structured questionnaire was used as the main instrument to gather data from 92 respondents in Niger Delta Region. Out of this number, 78 (84.8%) copies of questionnaire were appropriately completed and returned for data analysis while 14(15.2%) copies of questionnaire not completed and returned.
The data collected from the respondents were analyzed using simple percentage and tables to analyze the research questions while Chi-square (X2) statistical tool were used to test the hypotheses.

The findings revealed that:

  1. Marine pollution in the Niger Delta affects the community of living organisms in the environment.
  2. There is a significant impact of shipping operation and marine environment the Niger Deltas of Nigeria.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study and subsequent recommendations, it is concluded that marine pollution is a serious issue, and it comes in many forms. Nevertheless, there are several ways that we can take positive action right now to solve this problem of marine pollution. Furthermore, marine pollution is something we cannot avoid in a world with a rapidly growing population and technological concerns that generates hazardous the pollutants, its effect can be minimized if carefully managed.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following recommendations;

  1. Sustained enlightenment campaign/advocacy on safer attitudes towards reducing pollution of our marine environment
  2. Training of relevant stake holders including coastal communities on modern day global practices that reduces marine pollution n all its ramifications.
  3. Economic empowerment of coastal communities to provide alternative sources of income in places where their existing vocations are perceived to contribute to marine pollution.

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