How illicit fishing undermines economy

Fish is an important item most  households’ diet, contributing about 40 per cent of the country’s protein intake. An estimated 13.3 kilogramme (kg) of fish is said to be consumed by an individual yearly. According to the World Fish Centre,  yearly fish production  in the country is about one million metric tons (313,231 metric tons from aquaculture and 759,828 metric tons from fisheries). Most of the fish is consumed domestically, while about 10 per cent is exported.

The industry in Nigeria, however, is being undermined be the high number of foreign vessels which poach fish from the country’s waters. It so bad that Ghanaians, other African nationals and others dominate Ibaka, a fishing community in the Bakassi fishing axis at the maritime border between Nigeria and Cameroon. According to the Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) President, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, the industry loses billions of dollars in resources and jobs yearly to poachers whose activities she describes as irresponsible fishing.

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