Worried by the incessant attacks on trawlers on waters by sea robbers, the Federal Government has approved two patrol boats for the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF).
The department explained that the patrol vessels would be used to monitor unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, which stray into the Nigerian maritime domain illegally.
Already, Nigerian navy has said that about $70 million waslost annually to illegal unreported and unregulated fishing in the country.
Its Senior Fisheries Officer (SFO), Taiwo Are, who gave the hint during the Amum Buneng exercise carried out by the Western Command of the Nigerian Navy recently at sea to keep ships and bases fit for effective security at sea, said a lot would be achieved in terms of reducing the spate of the illegalities on water.
Are stressed that foreign fishing trawlers had been poaching Nigeria waters without licenses to catch fish and sell same in the name of their countries.
He noted that the navy exercise would further help to address the challenges of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on Nigerian waters.
He noted: “From the fishery side of view, the exercise has been going on well in terms of the challenges we face in fisheries right now, which is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. I think this exercise will go a long way in trying to address such.
Are called for more arrests of illegal fishermen on Nigerian waters without licenses.
Speaking on the acquisition of the vessels the senior fishery officer said: “Right now, the Federal Executive Council has approved and signed for two patrol vessels for Department of Fishery and we have got to the procurement stage. We have a working relationship with the Nigerian Navy. After the purchase, there is still going to be another agreement because it is going to be manned by the Navy.”
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