The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has said it is seeking the partnership of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities on Nigerian waters.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said this in a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar.
According to him, the IUU is a threat to the livelihood of legitimate fishing investors.
In a statement signed by Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edward, Jamoh said aside from fighting piracy, sea robbery, oil theft and other maritime vices, the Deep Blue project which enjoys the full support of the President, was aimed at preventing unlawful commercial activities like unregulated fishing on Nigerian waters.
The agency is focused on preventing marine pollution which threatens aquatic life and jobs of trawler operators who have permits from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to embark on commercial fishing.
He said, “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 quantities, 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.”
The agric minister 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.”