TOXICITY OF ATRAZINE (HERBICIDE) TO JUVENILES OF THE AFRICAN CATFISH, CLARIAS GARIEPINUS (BÜRCHELL, 1822)

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TOXICITY OF ATRAZINE (HERBICIDE) TO JUVENILES OF THE AFRICAN CATFISH, CLARIAS GARIEPINUS (BÜRCHELL, 1822)

 

CHAPTER ONE
1.0INTRODUCTION
1.1Background Information

 

 

The ever-increasing world population and the attendant increase in food demandnecessitated that new ways of increasing agricultural output be sought. In an attempt to increase agricultural output, man relies heavily on the use of chemicals to protect crops from pests, right from the time of dressing of seeds before planting, through fighting weeds and other pests on the farm, to the preservation of already harvested products. On one side, benefits derived from the use of pesticides in agriculture are immense, but on the other side, environmental pollution and/or degradation is one major problem that is linked to their application (Olusegun, 2001).

The competition for survival between humans and other organisms in the environment dates back to the beginning of history. Insects, rodents and generally pests have taken a serious liking for cultivated crops (Olusegun, 2001), or the conducive environments in which they are grown. This competition became more intense as humans continued to modify the environment, leading to the evolution of an organized pattern of pest control through the development of pesticides (McEwen and Stephenson, 1979).

At its onset, the development of pesticides was actually slow and limited in application. In such instances, their use was highly restricted to small acreage, hence small and restricted impacts on the environment (McEwen and Stephenson, 1979). The increase in the world population led to the increase in the use of pesticides, resulting in higher and more pronounced impacts on the environment.

The presence of pesticides in the environment has caused significant social and scientific development anxiety worldwide, as their all-over-the-world extensive usage can create potential risks to the environment and human health, and easily pollute bodies of water thereby resulting in extensive damage to non-target species, including fish (Moreno et al., 2010). Be it by intentional or unintentional application, water is contaminated through direct application into the aquatic system, drifts during spray, atmospheric fallout as rain and dust, soil erosion, sewage, industrial effluent and occasionally by spillage (McEwen and Stephenson, 1979).

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TOXICITY OF ATRAZINE (HERBICIDE) TO JUVENILES OF THE AFRICAN CATFISH, CLARIAS GARIEPINUS (BÜRCHELL, 1822)