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Preliminary study on the composition and abundance of shellfish (Decapoda: Crustacea) in Uta Ewa Estuary, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Akaninyene Udoh Akpan, Edwin Chuks Egwali, Imeh Kokoette Esenowo, Eno Kinsley Akpabio


The study, Preliminary Study on the Composition and Abundance of Shellfish: Decapoda: Crustacea, in Uta Ewa Estuary was carried out between January and May 2012. The physico-chemical parameters of the water were measured in situ using standard methods according to APHA, AWWA and WEF (1998). Shellfish specimens were sampled monthly. Air- and water-temperature ranged from 27.9 – 31.6 oc and 28.2 – 28.9 oc respectively, while DO, pH and salinity were between 3.28 – 4.09 mg/L, 6.40 – 7.7 ppm and 0.00 – 12.9 ppm respectively. The mean values of the physico-chemical parameters measured were not significant at r = 0.456. Pandalus sp. was the most abundant in station 1 accounting for 50.29 %, followed by Nematopalaemon hastatus which accounted for 29.21 % , while in station 2, N. hastatus was the most abundant, accounting for 39.78 %, followed by Pandalus sp. accounting for 31.40 % of the relative abundance. Panopeus africanus was the least collected shellfish species, it accounted for 0.14 % in station 1 and 0.45 % for station 2. Station 2 had shellfish Shannon diversity of 1.54 while station 1 had 1.31. The physico-chemical parameters showed significant relationship with the abundance of the shellfish species (p<0.05). The results of air- and water-temperature and pH were within limits of stipulated minimum values of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agencies (NESREA) for aquatic life. Uta Ewa estuary is rich with a wide variety of shellfish species of ecological and economical importance; hence the coastal area should be monitored and protected from pollution.

Keywords: Shellfish, Decapoda, Uta Ewa estuary, Composition, Abundance

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