Nigeria moves to curb illegal fishing

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To discourage Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in Nigerian waters, the Federal Government has commenced aggressive moves.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to curb these activities.

Jamoh made this known during a recent meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar.

The DG described IUU as threats to source of livelihood of legitimate fishing investors, he also decried the exposure of the marine environment to avoidable pollution through such unlawful activities. 

Jamoh explained that aside fighting piracy, sea robbery, oil theft and other maritime vices, the Deep Blue project, which enjoys the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari also aims at preventing unlawful commercial activities like unregulated fishing in our waters.

According to the DG, NIMASA’s eyes are also focused on preventing marine pollution, which threatens aquatic life and jobs of trawler operators who have the requisite permits from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to embark on commercial fishing.

Jamoh, who also sought closer working relationship with the agricultural ministry, urged the minister to key into the Deep Blue project considering the array of benefits it holds for agricultural investors in the marine environment.

Expressing readiness to work with NIMASA, the Minister of Agriculture said: “We have the Department of Fisheries and the Quarantine Agency. We are very much ready, to put together a formidable team that would work with the Deep Blue project and we have the capacity of experienced staff that can participate and bring additional push to the project.

“We are aware of some of the issues concerning illegal fishing and already the ministry and department officials are doing something about that. I can assure the DG that we will put that together soon,” the minister said.

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