Metric loss

Fish demand in Nigeria exceeds 3.6 million metric tons – FG

Nigeria’s federal government says the demand for fish exceeds 3.6 million metric tons, but the country can only produce about 1.2 million metric tons.
The Director of the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Ime Umoh, made this known during the second dialogue with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the implementation of phase 2 of the project. Fisheries Governance (FISHGOV-2) in Abuja recently.
The three-day dialogue was co-organized by the African Union Development Agency, AUDA-NEPAD, and the African Union-Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources, AU-IBAR, with the support of the European Union , EU.
According to Umoh, the Nigerian fish farming industry can only produce 1.2 million metric tons of fish from the industrial, artisanal and aquaculture sub-sectors.
Umoh, who said Nigeria had benefited from phase 1 of the FISHGOV project, expressed his optimism that phase 2 would also boost fish production in Nigeria.
“The Minister of Agriculture has a very strong passion for fish production as we believe that fish is the cheapest source of protein and the total demand for fish in the country is over 3.6 metric tons” , did he declare.
In terms of achievements, Umoh said the Department of Fisheries has licensed 164 fishing vessels, across Nigerian territorial waters and economic zones.
He added that to protect the health of Nigerians, the Federal Department of Fisheries has recruited inspectors to ensure that importers follow due process before selling the product to Nigerians.
“Frozen fish is good because before frozen fish is brought into the country, we have what we call a task certificate; we have to certify where the frozen fish comes from, what the sanitary condition is, how it is stored, we even inspect the cold room.
“We have inspectors in Lagos, Abuja and others who go there to certify that frozen fish imported into the country is in very good condition.
“In the artisanal sub-sector, we have been able to register canoes and build the capacity of artisanal farmers as well as provide them with inputs, canoes, fishing gear and other equipment that will help them increase their production.
“In the aquaculture sub-sector, we have established what we call fish farms, cluster feeder farms and other activities that will boost aquaculture production in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, a member of the African Union Commission (AUC), Ms. Panduleni Elago, pledged that the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program, CAADP would support artisanal and small-scale fish farmers to bridging the gap between demand and production of fish in Nigeria. .
Elago, who is a CAADP adviser, said fish is one of the healthiest and cheapest proteins for humans.
“Fish is one of the healthiest and cheapest proteins for human beings, and as we strive to eradicate hunger in Africa by 2025, we also seek to support all those involved in the fishing sector; small farmers, non-state actors and civil societies,” she said.
The Head of the Agriculture and Food Security Division of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Ernest Aubee, said that ECOWAS had worked with the Nigerian Navy to protect the territorial waters of the sub-region from criminal activities. because they affect fish production.