Following the data collection process for the Fishery Performance Indicators, researchers at The Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD) Nigeria interacted with various policymakers and organized a Policy outreach in Abuja, October 2019.
Presenting findings of the EfD funded research, Dr. Ebele Amaechina said that Nigerian marine artisanal fishery performed below and worse than the average of all African fisheries and therefore required urgent intervention. She recommended an immediate stop to artisanal open access fishery in Nigeria by defining who is entitled to fish or not at each point in time. The study also recommended the involvement of fishermen in regulating access and use of unwanted gears. This could be achieved by creating a beach management unit in every landing site. Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone noted a shortfall in Nigeria’s Fisheries Act of 1992, which he said contained regulations only for industrial fishermen who fish above five nautical miles but contained virtually no regulation for artisanal fishing in the lower shelf. He proposed a review of Nigeria’s Fishery Act of 1992 to accommodate regulatory measures that will curtail the depletion of fish and other aquatic creatures in Nigeria’s shelf.
The research and the proposal generated a lot of discussion among the participants. The participants included the Chairman of Nigerian Union of Fishermen and Sea Food Dealers, the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Nigeria and the Alex Ekwueme University, scholars with concern on environmental issues, leaders of artisanal and industrial fishermen, directors from the state and federal ministries of agriculture and environment, fisher folks and journalists. Dr Tafar representing the Ministry of Environment assured that the ministry would work with the Centre to review environmental policies in Nigeria.
Prof Oladipo commended REPRC-EfD for organizing the outreach, stating that the event had produced outcomes that should be articulated to influence policy decisions in fishery