Seafarers call for probe of Agric Minister over death of aquatic creatures in Niger Delta

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Seafarers call for probe of Agric Minister over death of aquatic creatures in Niger Delta

 Segun Oladipupo     |      

The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has said that the death of aquatic lives in the Niger Delta region could be as a result of poisonous solutions.The group while condemning the negligent attitude of the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Fisheries added that the effect of consuming or marketing the dead whale might be worse than its benefits.

The President of the seafarers’ group, Engr. Bob Yousuo said this in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday.

According to him, the hazardous effect of consuming or marketing this dead whale might be worse than the immediate benefits derived hence people should desist from eating or selling it.

Yousou who was not happy with the way the Ministry handled the development, called on the National Assembly to summon the
Minister of Agriculture over his failure to swiftly respond to the immediate cause of the death of the fishes in the Niger Delta coastline.

“It is within his purview to oversee/monitor what happens to the aquatic animals in Nigeria territorial waters.

“The cause of the unfortunate massive death of the fishes is likely to be attributed to poisonous pollution.

“Some local natives have taken it as means of food while some go there as tourist center but yet the ministry of Agriculture who has jurisdiction over fisheries has not said or taken any action.

“It’s within the purview of the Department of Fishery under the ministry of Agriculture to educate the populace on this uncommon occurrence.

“We the seafarers union strongly condemn this act of negligence exhibited by the Ministry of Agriculture.  We are aware that the fishing trawlers obtain permit license & pay fees to the fishery department.

“With the strange creature & the nature of its death,  the ministry of Agriculture would have shown concern but reverse is the case.

“We appreciate NIMASA under the ministry of transport for its prompt action to identify the cause of the dead fish as well as dissuading local people within that environment from consumption. We are aware also that NIMASA certifies the fishing vessels.

“The leadership of our union has been advocating for synergy among ministries & parastatals. This incident call for synergy which is not in existence as they compete among themselves unnecessarily. A development that is not healthy for the growth of Nigeria economy.

“We want to use this opportunity to urge the fishery department of the Ministry of Agriculture to brace up to her responsibility & liaise with NIMASA for the scientific finding towards the cause of the dead fish as well as other related issues.

“It’s within its purview to oversee/monitor what happens to the aquatic animals in Nigeria territorial waters.

“Besides,  we also advise our members in the fishing industry to be mindful of fishing closely to area where the decaying substance is domicile.

He tasked the fishery department of the Ministry of Agriculture to brace up to its responsibility and liaise with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
(NIMASA)for the scientific finding towards the cause of the dead fishes as well as other related issues.

According to him, there is the need for a symbiotic relationship between NIMASA and the Ministry in proferring lasting solution to environmental and marine hazards.

The Merchant Navy Union boss also called on the citizens in the region to avoid eating the dead fishes due to the health implications.

The union also lauded the efforts of NIMASA to investigate the death of aquatic lives in the region even as it appealed to the agency to sanction erring organizations or group involved in the marine pollution

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