Lokpobiri decried that “all the illegal activities going on, where people just come into our waters and after fishing they tranship to another vessel…”
Okwe Obi, Abuja
The federal government has expressed its dissatisfaction with illegal fishing activities carried out, mainly by foreigners, especially without liability.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who said this recently in Abuja, revealed that the ministry had made it a prerequisite for any wish to become a fishing owner.apply for a license or renew your boat license to have all the equipment in place.
Lokpobiri decried that “all the illegal activities going on, where people just come into our waters and after fishing they tranship to another vessel, and there is no record of what they took in our waters. artisanal, is a major challenge that we need to take up in Nigeria and in the member states of the under-region.
“What we are trying to do is that for any license, any fishing license to be issued or renewed, one of the new policies that we have developed with the Nigerian Navy is that you have to install the VMS, from where from navy headquarters and regional offices in Calabar they can see all of our ships in Nigerian waters.
He further stated that the government has “also discovereder that most cases of hacking were rigged. Your own crew in your own ship will create a scenario where they will say oh they were attacked and all the fish were taken. These are some of the problems we have with transshipment at sea. You invest in a vessel, you send them, you pay them, they go and after they fish they sell them back at sea and they claim that they have been stolen.