The Federal Government has big plans to increase its total fish production. Nigeria is producing only 1.1 million metric tonnes (MT) of fish, while the demand for fish in the country is 3.6 MT. But pressure from a global network of illegal and unsustainable fishing activities – and the inability to reverse collapsing fishing infrastructure – is weighing heavily against projected catch volumes. Hence, the government faces tall order to reform and expand the fisheries sector with dilapidated fishing jetties and terminals across the place.
Fresh fish is a protein source Nigerians crave. It is widely available and local. But the infrastructure to support commercial fishing, which produces fresh fish, is under threat. The rapid decline in marine resources has prompted concerns not only over future supplies of seafood and the nation’s dried fish breakfast but also about the communities that depend on fish to survive. In its current national development plan, the Federal Government is also anticipating to increase fish production. Therefore, the situation calls for aggressive investment in fisheries to boost the economy and encourage export adding that the country is leaving a deficit of about 2.5MT to be bridged by importation. For watchers, the government’s fishery production target will require the launch of a modern fish farming industry. Aside from this, modern fishing vessels are expected to play an important role in expanding wild capture marine fish production in future as most fishermen currently rely on traditional fishing methods. The Nation.