Reps To Investigate Alleged Illegal Fishing Worth $70m In Nigerian Waters

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The House Representatives has resolved investigate alleged illegal fishing worth 70million dollars by Chinese and trawlers Nigerian waters.

This was sequel a unanimous adoption a motion by Rep. Patrick Ifon (PDP-) at plenary on Wednesday.

Moving the motion, Ifon said that fish was the healthiest food on earth as contained nutrients such as vitamin D that was a great source Omega–3 and Folic Acid.

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.

According Ifon, as a nation with large coastal area is rich marine species, yet over half of the fish being consumed are imported from China and Netherland.

The rep said that from the World Fish Centre 2017 placed ’s fish production at 759.828 metric tonnes annually.

Ifon said that was the fourth largest importer of fish in the world with about million metric tonnes per annum for an estimated of over 200 million people.

“Nigeria loses a whopping sum of 70 million dollars annually to Chinese and Trawlers due to illegal fishing in the nations waters as observed by the Nigerian Navy in 2017.

“In spite of Nigeria’s non-fishing agreement with distant nations such as China and the 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 of 2018 that illegal fishing boats from China, Netherlands and Spain operating in the country’s territorial waters commonly transfer catches from 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 and Natural Resources, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Agency (NIMASA) to put in place to curb illegal fishing in Nigerian waters.

The green chambers urged the Federal Government to its licensing policy as tended to favour foreign trawlers at the expense of local counterparts.

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 back within three weeks for further legislative action