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Illegal, unregulated fishing deny W/Africa of $2 bn annually

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West Africa loses at least $2 billion annually to
unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing.
Amb. Florentina Adenike Ukonga, Executive
Secretary, Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Commission stated this on Monday at the Second GoG
Annual Conference convened in Lagos by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Citing the World Bank as she spoke on the theme “The
Blue Economy in the Interest of Food Security in the Gulf of Guinea Region,”
Ukonga said that global illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is
estimated at 11-26 million tonnes of fish ($10-22 billion) annually, with West
Africa alone accounting for $2 billion.
She said
that the situation was the case because while other countries and regions were
already reaping the gains from the blue economy, “the region’s
coastal sector remains largely
underdeveloped and poorly governed, which has enabled other forces from outside
the continent to benefit more from it.”
with about 71 per cent of the earth covered by water, “there is no food
security without a sustainable ocean,” and with increasing pressure on the
region’s seas and oceans from within and outside, collective efforts are
required to deal with these pressures, as no state can effectively and prudently
manage its maritime domain.
said it had become necessary and urgent for member-states to properly harness,
develop, grow and control the region’s marine resources for food security and
economic growth, considering the continent’s
increasing population and the
dwindling hydrocarbon revenue
She called for collaborative efforts
between concerned countries and their maritime administrators to develop both
“artisanal fishing for maintaining self and family, and commercial fishing for
other goods and services that may be needed.”
Addressing the gathering earlier,
the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that over the years, Nigeria had played lead role in
regional maritime protection.
Peterside, who was represented by the Executive
Director, Finance and Administration
in NIMASA, Mr. Bashir Jamo, stated that as
the commission’s first segment of the seminar on blue economy in Nigeria, the
conference would expose what constitutes the concept, its potentials as a
goldmine, constraints and the way forward.
He urged African nations to look inwards, research
and tap the enormous resources in its coastlines, adding that though many
countries in the continent had recently started exploiting hydrocarbon resources,
the fortunes therein were already being hampered by competition and the recent
developments in technology.

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