This study reports on intersex in Oreochromis mossambicus, an indigenous fish species inhabiting most aquatic systems throughout South Africa (SA). Male fish were collected from three sites in the Luvuvhu River, Limpopo Province, SA:Albasini Dam (AD), Nandoni Dam(ND),and Xikundu Weir(XW). The latter two sites are situated in a currently dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane(DDT) sprayed area.
A laboratory-bred reference group (AqR) were included for a histological comparison. 48% of the fish at AD were intersex individuals compared with 63% at ND, and 58% at XW. The Aq R fish had no cases of intersex. o, p0- and p, p0-DDT and metabolites dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) and-dichlorodi-phenyl dichloro ethylene (DDE) were detected in fat samples, indicative of contamination of the aquatic environment and subsequent exposure of fish to these chemicals. Although some of the fat samples contained levels of DDTs no association could be established between intersex and chemical contaminants in fish.