Illegal fishing: Respite, as parastatal acquires patrol vessels

The incessant attacks on trawlers on waters by sea robbers and militants may soon be a thing of the past as the Federal Department of Fisheries is set to acquire two patrol boats that will help to curtail the menace.

The Department also hinted that the patrol vessels will monitor the Nigerian water space against unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing in Nigerian waters.

Taiwo Are, a Senior Fisheries Officer (SFO) of the department 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.

Are who represented the Department as an observer in the NN Unity vessel, told journalists that the exercise was a successful one and that the exercise would further help to address the challenges of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on Nigerian waters.

Recall that it has become a global menace as foreign fishing trawlers poach Nigeria waters without licenses to catch fish and sell same in the name of their countries.

When asked what the Department has done to curtail the anomaly, he quipped that as part of the efforts of the Department, it has written to the Federal Government which has led to the Federal Executive Council recently approving and signing for two patrol vessels for the parastatal under the Ministry of Agriculture.

He however exuded confidence that with the purchase, a lot will be achieved in terms of reducing the spate of the illegalities on water7.

His words, “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.

“You know it is now a global trend so we need more arrests of illegal fishers poaching our waters without licenses and go away with our products and sell in the name of their countries. We need such arrests.

“Right now, the Federal Executive Council has approved and signed for two patrol vessels for Department of Fishery and has got to the procurement stage. We already 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,” he stated.

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