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Experts want fisheries captured under Blue Economy

Written by silvernewsng

Former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barr. Temisan Omatseye, the President of the Alumni Association of Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) Capt. William Ogunsakin, Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Deep Maritime Services Ltd., Mrs Rollens Macfoy, and the Deputy Director Marine and Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr Yusuf Barde, during the 1st Annual Conference of the Alumni Association of Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) on Saturday.

FISHERIES and Maritime experts have called for the review of relevant laws to place fisheries under the Ministry of Blue Economy.

The made the call at the 1st Annual Conference of the Alumni Association of Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had the theme: “Unlocking the Potential of Blue Economy”.

A fisheries expert and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Deep Maritime Services Ltd., Mrs Rollens Macfoy, observed that the placement of the fisheries institutions under the Ministry of Agriculture limits the development of the sector.

Macfoy, in her paper titled: “Aligning Fisheries and Marine Technology with Nigeria’s Blue Economy Agenda: Sustainability Policy Framework and The Importance of the Alumni of the FCFMT” stressed the need for grants, flexible loans, tax holidays, among other incentives, to position fishing for economic boom.

According to her, youth employment and gross domestic product (GDP) are definite gains that the nation would benefit by giving adequate attention to the sector.
“The school of fisheries should be under the Blue Economy and not Agriculture. We need to correct this and position the institution and the industry right.

“Fisheries, fishing practice, seabed management, regulation, industrial fishing and processing, value addition, among other aspects will provide job opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youth and stimulate economic growth in the nation,” she said.

Also speaking,another expert and a former Director -General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barr. Temisan Omatseye,said that the institution and other aspects of fishing should be moved to the Blue Economy Ministry .
Omatseye,however, expressed the optimism that the government would act on that soon.

He noted that although barges and tugboats were being built in Nigeria, more attention should be paid to fishing vessels as part of efforts to grow fishing business.
“There is also the issue of security that has to be addressed as ship captains are usually attacked by sea robbers to steal funds given to them by trawler owners as well as the fishes” he said.

In her speech , the Deputy Provost, FCFMT, Adewole Aderonke, said that the Institution needed to have better collaboration with industry players and operators so that its activities would be better tailored towards solving industry needs.
“The college is driven by research and we are doing our research based on the needs of the industry.

”However, I believe that we would serve Nigeria better for moving to Marine and Blue Economy, especially if it will enable us network better with key stakeholders and address the issue of funding,” the Deputy Provost said.
In his welcome address, the President of the Alumni Association of FCFMT, Capt. William Ogunsakin, expressed satisfaction with the high turnout of maritime industry stakeholders at the conference.

“We recognise the critical role that the blue economy plays in Nigeria’s economic growth, food security, and environmental sustainability.
“We also acknowledge the significant contributions that our alma mater, Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, has made to the development of the maritime sector in Nigeria.

“As alumni, we have a unique responsibility to leverage our expertise, experience, and networks to sensitise the students and the general public for the purpose of integration and collaboration with stakeholders in the industry and relevant regulatory body in order to professionally unlock the potential of the blue economy,” Ogunsakin said.

The Director General, NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola, said the Ministry of Blue Economy was committed to ensuring ocean resources were utilised economically.
Mobereola who was represented by the Deputy Director ,Marine and Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr Yusuf Barde, said blue economy ministry aimed at improving people’s livelihood while protecting marine eco -system and coastal communities.
He acknowledged that the ocean resources were limited and threatened by unsustainable activities.

NAN reports that maritime experts such as Barr. Gloria Kanabe, , Mrs Tosan Edodo-Emore,as well as master mariners and students of Fisheries and Oceanography were present at the programme (NAN)

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