The Nigerian Government has been urged to provide effective and efficient proactive security measures to protect aquatic resources in order to tackle the problem of inadequate supply of fish in the country.
An Aquaculture expert, Mrs Mojisola Siyanbola, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biology, The Polytechnic, Ibadan gave the advice while delivering an Inaugural lecture on ‘Nigeria’s fish supply deficit: Bridging the gap through sustainable aquaculture’.
Siyanbola condemned the shortage of fish supply in the country, saying the problem of insecurity is a major problem facing aquatic resources especially the marine resources.
She explained that there is a need to transform aquaculture from subsistence to commercial level due to the inadequate supply of fish especially in the country.
“For now, the unsatisfied demand is met through importation. The domestic fish production has not been able to reduce the dependency on imported fish”, she said.
“From all indications, fish production in the country has been deficient for many years in meeting the projected domestic demand. This trend seems to be unrelenting due to the ever widening gap between demand and supply”.
“The problem of insecurity which is a serious problem to our aquatic resources especially the marine resources should be tackled. There must be an effective and efficient proactive security measures to protect our aquatic resources.
Siyanbola explained further that there were reported cases of the incursion of foreign trawlers in the fishery segment of the marine industry which made Nigeria to lose about N300 billion as a result of inadequate protection of our waters.
‘‘Also recently, because of the incessant attacks on fishing crews, the Nigeria Trawler Owners Association (NTOA) reportedly called its fleet of over 200 trawlers and 20,000 workers back to the shore thus leading to a shortfall in fish supply’’.
Siyanbola also advocated for provision of soft loans and grants to young Nigerians to enable them embark on commercial fish production, thereby urging the government to work out strategies that will attract prospective young farmers to involve in fishing business.
The Aquaculture expert however recommended that there is need for regular capacity building and training/workshops for extension officers in Aquaculture at both Federal, state and local levels, introduction of Aqua-Entrepreneurship as one of the vocations in entrepreneurship education curriculum among others.
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