Shipowners advocate for  international collaboration to stop illegal fishing

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Shipowners advocate for  international collaboration to stop illegal fishing

Abiola Seun     |      

The chairperson of Shipowners Forum, Barr.Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, has urged the federal  government to curtail poaching in Nigeria waters.

She however said that international collaboration was needed to end poaching in Nigeria and African.
Onyema-Orakwusi, who declared this on the sideline of the just concluded Global Maritime Security Conference held in Abuja, said the international community has the market and capability to effectively monitor all activities that take place in the waterways.

She said: “I have always said this, any crime that takes place out there in the sea, the planning is done ashore; they go there, execute and come ashore with their bounty”

“So, with good intelligence, right from ashore, you can arrest what goes on there. You can also trace the movement of the fund through financial institutions.

“We are underplaying the activities of the financial institutions especially the international banks because that is where the poachers find markets for their products, which shouldn’t be.
“The poachers have easy market in Asia, in Europe and in America and they pass their money through their financial institutions.

“Some of us who export, we know that for your payment to be received through the bank, you need to furnish documentation to show how you earned that money.
“So seriously speaking, if we really want to arrest the issue of poaching in Africa, we need the cooperation of Europe, Asia and America.

“This is because it is easy for them to monitor these things. Also, sanctions should be placed on the financial institutions and on the big buyers.”

Onyema-Orakwusi however, urged the federal government to deploy relevant personnel to adequately monitor the territorial waters to ensure the security of the waterways.
She also urged the government to be at the fore of all the partnerships going into the sector to ensure that its full benefits were maximised.

“We need to secure our domain; we need to tap on the resources; we need to let it provide employment and earn foreign exchange, it is our own.

“We have also recognised how difficult it is to fight international organised crime and that is why it is important that all hands must be on deck,” she said.
The shipowners forum  boss expressed optimism that the recently concluded Global Maritime Security conference would ensure a more secure environment in the country’s maritime sector.

She reiterated the importance of safety to enable the country to harness all available resources, to engender growth and development of Nigeria and the continent at large.

On indigenous criminal activities in the country’s maritime domain, Onyema-Orakwusi said resolving it was beyond the amnesty programme.

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