The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture are partnering to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in Nigerian waters.
Director General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh who met with the Minister of Agriculture, Mahmood Abubakar, described IUU as threats to source of livelihood of legitimate fishing investors. He also decried 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 created by the Federal Ministry of Transportation aims to prevent unlawful commercial activities like unregulated fishing in the country.
“We have been experiencing illegal fishing in our waters and the ministry assigned with the responsibility of issuing certificates of approval to conduct fishing especially in commercial quantity, is the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We resolved to collaborate, cooperate, coordinate and communicate with each other in terms of the legality and illegality of fishing in our own waters by the international community and the minister assured us of support,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture, Mahmood Abubakar, said, “We have the Department of Fisheries and also 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 get that put together soon.”