He said that the minerals were important for body and brain’s development and contributed about 40 per cent of the country’s protein intake.
“In spite of Nigeria’s non-fishing agreement with distant nations such as China and the European Union, illegal fishing on Nigeria’s waters persists due to bilateral agreements with the nearby Country of Sao Tome and Principe.
“The Overseas Development Institute’s Report of 2018 that illegal fishing boats from China, Netherlands and Spain operating in the country’s territorial waters commonly transfer catches from their trawlers into container and cargo vessels on the high seas, thereby flouting quota regulations.
“The Gulf of Guinea Commission which was established in 2001 to check issues bordering on fisheries beyond 20 nautical miles of each member nation is yet to come up with a legally binding framework to tackle illegal fishing activities.
“Illegal and unregulated fishing in Nigeria’s waters undermines the economy, poses a security threat to the nation’s territorial waters, degrades the coastal communities and renders artisan fishermen redundant,’’ he said.
The House urged Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to put measures in place to curb illegal fishing in Nigerian waters.
The lawmakers said that the policy should be reviewed to encourage indigenous investments in the agricultural sector.
The lower chambers also urged the government to prevail on the Gulf of Guinea Commission to introduce a legally binding framework to check excessive fishing or overfishing in the region.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services to investigate the matter and report back within three weeks for further legislative action