Barely a month after the flag off of a naval maneuver by the Western Naval Command, to deter illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, operatives of the Command in have arrested two fishing trawlers violating the country’s law on fishing within her territorial waters.
The operatives working under EXERCISE EJA EXPRESSION boarded two fishing trawlers and discovered a large quantity of fish, especially when the trawlers had no license to fish.
Giving details of the arrest, the Spokesman of the Western Naval Command, Commander Patricia Ochei said: “The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) EKULU at about 0400hrs on Tuesday, 28 November 2023 while on patrol along the Badagary axis of Lagos intercepted and interrogated two suspicious fishing trawlers TAURARO and STARSHRIMPER 29.
“The vessels were subsequently boarded and confirmed to have large quantities of fish onboard in spite of their license to shrimp only. Recall that the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan recently flagged off Exercise EJA EXPRESSION which was aimed at honing personnel skills on how to curb economic crimes such as illegal fishing in our waters.”
The exercise, according to Cdr Ochei, was to practice personnel procedure and processes of enforcing fisheries laws in Nigeria’s maritime environment to ensure the fleet was better able to perform the responsibility of deterring Illegal and Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU) fishing and other illegalities.
The statement said the decision is in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive towards promoting effective Ocean and maritime governance for a thriving Blue Economy.
The Western Naval Command said “essentially, IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystem and sustainable fishing. It also threatens our economic security and natural resources that are critical to global food security, while also putting legitimate businesses at risk.
“With the blue economy in mind, Admiral Hassan said that the Command and indeed the Nigerian Navy (NN) has zero tolerance for any form of illegality at sea and calls on perpetrators to desist from such acts as the NN will not hesitate to go after them and see that they are prosecuted for their crimes.”