Impacts of cage culture on physico-chemical and bacteriological water quality in Lake Volta, Ghana
The effects of cage fish farming on physico-chemical and bacteriological water quality in Lake Volta, Ghana, were investigated in 2013–2014. Farmed and unfarmed (control) areas of the lake were selected for monitoring. Nutrients, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, pH, total coliforms, Pseudomonas and Vibrio spp. in the water were monitored monthly. Analyses of the water samples were carried out according to standard procedures. Physico-chemical quality of the water in both farm and control sites were within ranges typical of minimally impacted water and did not vary significantly between the two contrasting sites. The bacteriological analysis, however, revealed contamination of the lake water by fish farming. The bacterial counts at the farmed sites were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the control sites, with figures at the farmed sites ranging from 132 to 1 708 cfu 100 ml−1 for total coliforms, 514 to 5 170 cfu 100 ml−1Pseudomonas spp. and 14 to 516 cfu 100 ml−1 for Vibrio spp. The results suggested that cage fish farming has increased bacterial loads in the lake water, but has had minimal impact on its physico-chemical quality.
Keywords: aquaculture, contamination, fish farming, large lake, pollution