…urges stakeholders to promote local investment in fishery
Vice- President Yemi Osibanjo has said Nigeria’s fisheries production has risen from 450,000 to one million tonnes, through the efforts of the present administration. This is even as he said the most sure way to end the illegal fishing that has continued in the Gulf of Guinea, was for stakeholders to invest locally to harness the huge potential in fisheries and aquaculture in the various country members of the Fisheries’ Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWCGC).
Osibanjo, who disclosed this at the 10th anniversary of the FCWCGC in Abuja yesterday, said agriculture had immensely improved with the diversification of the economy policy which the government was promoting in the country. He said government’s effort to reduce illegal export through the private sector to investing in aquaculture had also yielded results as there had been an increase in the domestic production from 450,000 metric tonnes to one million tonnes.
He added that the Federal Government was working round the clock to harness the huge potential in fisher ies and aquaculture, which would help in checking illegal fishing in the coastline of the Gulf of Guinea. Speaking also on the illegal fishery, the Secretary General of FCWC, Seraphin Nadje, said though there might not be a definitive data on the extent of illegal fishing, illegal operators were targeting the waters of West Africa, and jeopardising the potential of the industry that would have boosted the economic status of the the West African countries.
“There is no definitive data on the extent of illegal fishing, we know that illegal operators particularly target the waters of West Africa, and a range of estimates suggest that 40 to 60 percent of fish caught in our region are caught illegally,” he said.
He also explained that the West Africa Task Force (WATF) was convened to tackle the issue of illegal fishing in the coastal lines,and it was by the effort of FCWC member countries, consisting of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo. He added that intelligence monitoring, control and surveillance had been intensified along the coast lines to stop the illegal fishing activities within the region.
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