30 March, 2014
DR Akinwunmi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has warned illegal fishing trawlers operating in Nigeria’s waters to stop their activities.
Adesina gave the warning at the
weekend during the inspection of seized vessels by the Nigerian Navy under the supervision of the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) in Lagos. The seizure of the vessels, belonging to Mid Atlantic Nigeria Ltd., was ordered by the minister at Brawal ports because the company had not renewed its licence to fish in 2014..
‘’Every vessel in the Nigerian waters must carry along its valid licence to fish in the sea. ‘’It is such companies as Mid Atlantic that drive away our fishermen from our waters and create unemployment. ‘’You must comply with the law because the days of illegal business in our waters are over,” Adesina said.
The minister said that the company was adopting “illegal manner” to fish, leaving just a little for other fishing companies to fish. Adesina said that Mid Atlantic was in the habit of throwing back to the water dead
fishes which was a serious offence. He ordered the arrest of the seven Chinese officers of the company.
Commenting on the arrest, Ms Folake
Areola, Director of FDF, said that the
vessels were asked to go and anchor, but went ahead to fish. Areola said the vessel owners had been charged to court, adding that the penalty for such offence was a fine of 250,000
dollars on each vessel or confiscation of the vessels.
Mrs Bunmi Ogungbe, Chief Fisheries
Officer of FDF, also said that the
company’s licence was supposed to be
renewed every year before they could be allowed to fish.