, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 89-98

Metal pollution loading, Manzalah lagoon, Nile delta, Egypt: Implications for aquaculture

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Abstract

High cultural enrichment factors are found for Hg (13×), Pb (22.1×), and other potentially toxic metals (e.g., Sn, Zn, Cu, Ag) in the upper 20 cm of sediment cores from the southeastern Ginka subbasin of Manzalah lagoon, Nile delta, Egypt. Cores from other areas of the lagoon show little metal loading. Metal loading followed the closure of the Aswan High Dam, the availability of abundant cheap electricity, and the development of major power-based industries. Industrial wastes containing potentially toxic metals are dumped into the Nile delta drain system. The load carried by Bahr El-Baqar drain discharges into the Ginka subbasin, which acts as a sink and results in metal loading of the sediment deposited there. Further development of aquaculture in this subbasin, of food-stuff agriculture on recently reclaimed lagoon bottom, or where irrigation waters come from Bahr El-Baqar drain or its discharge should be halted or strictly limited until potentially toxic metals in the drain waters and sediment are removed and polluted input drastically reduced. This environmental assessment of heavy metals in aquaculture or agriculture development should extend to other waterbodies in the northern Nile delta, particularly Idku lagoon and lake Mariut, where industrial metal-bearing wastes discharge into the waterbodies.