- Artisanal Fishermen Lament Invasion of Nigerian Fishing Shelf by Foreigners
Artisanal Fishermen Lament Invasion of Nigerian Fishing Shelf by Foreigners
SouthEaastPost Oct 19, 2019 15 Views
Artisanal fishermen in Nigeria have lamented the unregulated fishing
escapedes of foreigners in Nigerian shelf using instrument that
threaten the future survival of the acquatic creatures.
Speaking at a policy outreach organised by the Resource and Environmental
Policy Reseach Centre, (REPRC), University of Nigerian, Nsukka, at Valencia
Hotel, Abuja, the Chairman of Nigerian Union of Fishermen and Sea Food
Dealers, Badagry, Mr Ashade Moses, said fishermen from China take
advantage of a loose regulation of fishing in Nigeria to do what they are
forbidden from doing in their own country.
He said the industrial fishermen from China fish below the five nautical
miles approved for them by the Sea Fisheries Act of 1992, and they maltreat
artisanal fishermen in the process.
Asked if he would support the regulation artisanal fishing in the country, Mr Ashade said there was no need for such regulation because Nigerian government does not give incentive to fishermen compared to what is obtainable in other African countries.
He however said that there was need to stop the invasion of foreigners into Nigerian artisanal fishing space.
His narrative was corroborated by George Effiong Eshiet from the Ministry
of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom, who narrated that fishermen from Ghana have also
taken over artisanal fishing shelf in Akwa Ibom and they are not subjected
to any form of regulation.
He said the foreigners have more sophisticated instrument than the locals
and they have grown so bold that they use some compromised security
operatives to harass any folk who called to question the suitability of
their equipment in the lower shelf.
The discussion was provoked by a research paper, titled " Performance of
Marine Artisanal Fisheries in Nigeria: Lessons from Fisheries Performance
Indicator" presented by Dr Ebele Amaechina on behalf of REPRC.
The research, sponsored by the Environment for Development (EfD)
discovered that Nigerian Marine artisanal fisheries performed below and
worse than the average of all African fisheries. v
Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone who anchored the discussion which involved
fisherfolks, representatives of government agencies and environmental
scholars, pointed out that the Fisheries Act of 1992 contains regulations
only for trawler fishermen but contains no regulation for artisanal fishing
in the lower shelf.
He said the result was a bastardized fishing practices which cause
depletion of fish in Nigerian waters.
The REPRC-EfD research therefore recommended an immediate stop to artisanal
open access fishery in Nigeria by defining who is entitled to fish or not
at each point in time.
The study also recommended the involvement of fishermen in regulating
access and use of unwanted gears.
That, according to the research, could be achieved by creating a beach
management unit in every landing site.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, University of Nigeria, Prof.
Pat Okpoko added that the regulation should also involve placing
restrictions on the sizes of hooks and nets sold to artisanal fishermen.
Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, who chaired the policy day discussion panel, said
the event had revealed the need for research on improved species of fish
that can serve the growing Nigerian population.
He said such research should also discover the fishery potentials of
Nigerian rivers, waters and lakes.
Prof Oladipo commended REPRC-EfD for organising the outreach, stating that
the event had produced outcomes that should be articulated to influence
policy decisions in fishery.
At the end of the events, stakeholders agreed that there was need to review the Nigerian Fishery Act because the existing one was obsolete
Photo Caption: Stakeholders at the Policy outreach organised by REPRC-UNN sponsred by EfD