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‘West Africa loses $1.3bn to unregulated fishing yearly’

An environmental biologist, Prof. Oyebamiji Fafioye, says Nigeria and other West African countries lose $1.3 billion yearly to illegal and unregulated fishing.

Fafioye, a professor of Fisheries and Environmental Biology, disclosed this while delivering the 89th inaugural lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

He said: “Sustainable development of the local fisheries’ sector has the capacity to improve food security and lift people out of poverty and hunger through provision of jobs for millions of people, including women and youths.

“Illegal unreported and unregulated fishing leads to a loss of over 1.3 billion dollars in West Africa alone, yearly. To this end, the legal and regulatory framework has to be tightened in order to stop these losses.”

He also warned of imminent danger due to uncontrolled harmful substances in the environment capable of reducing fish production and quality.

The inaugural lecturer advocated legal and regulatory framework to curb must of the losses, as he noted that over 500 million people depend on fisheries and aquaculture in the developing countries.

Fafioye also hinted that statistics showed that pan-African fish trade is worth 20 billion Euro, hence, efforts must be intensified to promote intra-African trade in fisheries in the region.

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