Heavy metal concentrations and sediment quality of a cage farm on Lake Volta, Ghana
Anthony Yaw Karikari, Ruby Asmah, William Wilson Anku, Steve Amisah, Nelson Wheatson Agbo, Trevor C. Telfer, Lindsay Glenn Ross
This study involved the determination of sediment quality and heavy metals in the water column and bottom sediment of a selected cage fish farm in Lake Volta, to assess the potential impact of metals and organic matter pollution on the lake due to cage fish farming. Sediment analysis indicated that the texture of all sampling sites was sandy clay loam with sand dominating with a range of 31.5%–81.2%. The organic matter (TOM) ranged from 4.42%–8.89%, while organic carbon (TOC) was from 2.57%–5.22%. Total nitrogen (TN) fluctuated between 0.22% and 0.45%; total phosphate ranged between 0.22% and 5.30%. The TOC, TOM and TN content in the farm sediment were significantly lower than those of the reference sites (ANOVA, p < .05). Lead, copper, cadmium and selenium were not detected in the water. The results revealed that heavy metal concentrations in the water column and sediments were low and within tolerable levels, indicating no influence of metals from fish feed was observed on the lake water quality. However, the farm seemed to have moderate impact on sediment quality from organic matter. Water and sediment quality monitoring should be embarked upon periodically to ensure sustainable cage culture in the Lake Volta.