Commercial fish species from the east Nigerian coast were examined for external lesions and flesh parasitic infections that may affect their consumability. Altogether, 2 886 specimens from 43 species representing 34 genera were sampled. The occurrence of lymphocystis disease in the pleuronectiform Cynoglossus senegalensis is here reported for the first time from an African marine teleost. Other external lesions of fishes encountered were fin rot, granulomas, pseudotumours and ulcers with total prevalences not exceeding 1%; The following commercial fish species were infected by muscle parasites at the given prevalences: Cynoglossus browni (metacercariae, 18%, Capillaria spinosa eggs, 27%; Echinocephalus sinensis L3 larvae, 9%; Philometra beninensis, 27%); C. senegalensis (Kudoa sp., 10%; metacercariae, 87%); Pseudotolithus brachygnathus (Hysterothylacium sp. larvae, 2%); P. senegalensis (Poecilancistrum cf caryophyllum plerocercoid, 1%; Philometra beninensis, 1% P. typus (Kudoa sp., 3%); Synaptura cadenati (Echinocephalus sinensis, 12%); Stromateus fiatola (trypanorhynch plerocer-coid, 44%); Epinephelus aeneus (didymozoid trematode, 44%; Hysterothylacium sp. larvae, 6%). Capillaria and Echinocephalus, representing helminths with zoonotic potential, present low risks to publie health due to their low prevalences and the local methods of preparing fish for consumption. Apart from C. spinosa eggs in soles and trypanorhynch plerocercoids in S.fiatola, none of the other flesh parasites are likely to affect the market value of their hosts at the recorded levels of occurrence. Carcharhinid sharks influence the occurrence
in the locality of most fesh-parasitic helminths for which they serve as definitive hosts. The absence of the third stage larvae of zoonotic Anisakidae common in marine fishes from many other parts of the world is related to the unavailability of suitable hosts. Compared to the results from most temperate locations where similar studies have been carried out, the present study shows remarkably low prevalences and diversity for external lesions and flesh parasites in West African marine fishes.