The Bandama River contributes essentially to the well-being of the Ivorian population. Unfortunately its biodiversity is strongly threatened by human activities. In order to assess the water quality of the Bandama River and its impact on fish fauna, a scientific study was carried out from March 2019 to February 2020 in its estuarine zone. Thus, the physico-chemical variables of the water, the contents of Pb, Mn, Fe, Cd and Hg in the water and sediment matrices were measured in the three stations defined for the study. Twenty fish species were selected to assess the level of ecological stress observed on the fish fauna. The analysis of the water variables revealed a fairly oxygenated watercourse with temperature above 25°C, acidic pH, high conductivity and salinity above 10‰. The analysis of heavy metal contents revealed a high enrichment of the Bandama estuary in Mn and Hg due to human activities in the whole catchment area. Ecological stress data indicated high fish stress with negative allometric growth for most economically important fish collected in the Grand-Lahou area. Awareness raising among local communities and management measures should be implemented for the conservation of aquatic species in this freshwater Key Biodiversity Area.
Key words: Heavy metals, anthropic activity, conservation, Azagny National Park, coastal wetland.
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