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IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria



IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

…”We have a common goal to make fisheries stable” – Eivind Fjeldstad

Stakeholders have outlined issues involving illegal activities in fishing at the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting on Fishing and Fisheries which took place on Thursday 13th April 2023 in Lagos.

They identified illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing as the menace that actually culminated in the depletion of fishing trawlers in the country.

The event themed: “Illegal, Unreported, And Unregulated Fishing” hosted reputable Maritime Stakeholders.

IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Left-Right: Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with Chairman, of Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore.

The business roundtable breakfast meeting highlights the need to strengthen the institutional capabilities of maritime agencies, thereby positioning the country as a hub of maritime activities in West and Central Africa to boost Nigeria’s blue economy.

The maritime sector has come under siege by criminal elements who orchestrate acts of piracy, sea robbery, arms proliferation, crude oil theft, terrorism, migration, illegal and unregulated fishing, and oil theft within Nigeria’s territorial waters.

Identifying issues, stakeholders said Nigeria has a problem with feed, the cost-effectiveness of the high price of fish, capacity building, and training of fishermen/ fish farmers as well as taking stock.

Mr. Akanbi Williams, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Fisheries Resources Department said “If there is no law, there is no offense, What are the laws that are there, Nigeria has no stable laws to this effect. He said DATA is a problem, and there is a need for collaboration among agencies.

IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Group photograph of Panelist section.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Benedette Okonkwo, President of, Nigerian Trawlers Owners Association (NITOA), said that members of the association had a combined fleet of over 250 vessels and over 20 fishing companies.
Okonkwo said this had drastically reduced to 150 vessels with about five companies presently struggling to survive. She added that illegal fishing activities in the country were threatening Nigeria’s Blue Economy prospects. Okonkwo called on the government to introduce initiatives that would boost the fishing industry.

“NITOA has been involved in industrial fishing activities in Nigeria since 1986 when some notable Nigerians initiated the idea of having a unified body to represent its members on issues of mutual interest.


“There is the need to establish a Fisheries Terminal here in Lagos where about 95 percent of the industrial fishing operators are based. Also, the government should do well to resuscitate the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme, to make it more robust, workable, and transparent,” she said.
She said that trawler owners were overburdened by overzealous government agencies overseeing sea fishing.This, she said, was affecting the growth of the industry that should be a veritable source of local fish supply and foreign exchange earnings for the country.
“There is the need for the government to sit down with NITOA to chart a common course to harmonise the processes and procedures to attract more local and foreign direct investments.“Other areas that government must look into include; high cost of statutory registration and renewals of trawlers particulars from the regulatory agencies; occasional pirate attacks at high sea leading to loss of lives and property and damage of vessels and machines,” she said.
IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Right-Left: Mr. Temisan Omatseye, Former DG NIMASA, and Mr. Emmanuel Audu of Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture.


Mr. Temisan Omatseye in his statement at the Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting (MBRBM), on fishing and fisheries said it is for government to separate the Maritime sector from the Ministry of Transportation.


Omatseye said the government should develop laws to grow Nigeria’s economy while suggesting a MINISTRY OF MARITIME AFFAIRS AND FISHERIES to be created.
Mrs. Enitan Solarin, Director, of YOA Insurance Brokers, stressed the need for insurance awareness in the fishing industry. Solarin also called for enhanced collaboration between fisheries, regulators, and the insurance industry.
Solarin represented by Mrs. Bolanle Anjorin added that enforcement by regulatory agencies concerning insurance such as Protection & Indemnity, Hull & Machinery Third Party Liability-alm would improve the working conditions of fishers and fishing practices.
She pointed out that fishermen need financial incentives from the government and other bodies and enforcement of regulations to curb illegal fishing to move forward.
“As with all uncertainties, insurance plays an important role in the fishing sector as it provides financial compensation for unforeseen events.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, recognizes the importance of insurance in fisheries.
“It’s article 8.2.8 emphasizes that owners or charterers of fishing vessels should carry sufficient insurance coverage to protect the crew of such vessels and their interests, to indemnify third parties against loss or damage and to protect their interests,” he said.
IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Eivind Fjelstad Business Counsellor of the Royal Norwegian Embassy.


Also speaking, Vice President of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, Dr. Olalekan Oguntade, stressed the need for up-to-date data on IUU fishing to analyze the extent of damage in the sector.”On IUU Fishing, there should be a NEEDS assessment of the industry.
We equally need to protect the artisanal fishing industry which is where most riverine communities operate,” he said.
IUU Fishing Responsible For Declinement of Local Catch And Production Of Fish In Nigeria

Birds eye view

In her welcome remarks, the Chairman, of Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, said Nigeria’s vast coastline and its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), had immeasurable fish resources which ordinarily should transform the economy if properly harnessed.”It is on record that with a population of about 140 million local demand for fish outweighs the supply.
“This means that there is a constant demand for fish and fish products which should keep the local fishing industry buoyant but the reality on the ground tells a different story.”The records show that there has been a steady decline in local catch and production of fish in Nigeria.
“In the 1970s, domestic production of fish was said to range from 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes. By 1983 this dropped to 538,000 tonnes in 2000, the local catch was 441,337 tonnes and today the figure is not encouraging,” she said.
Edodo-Emore said that the challenges of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing must be tackled for Nigeria to reap the gains of the blue economy.

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Maritime Business Holds Fishing And Fisheries Roundtable Breakfast Meeting



Maritime Business Holds Fishing And Fisheries Roundtable Breakfast Meeting

Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Maritime Stakeholders to hold the Maritime Business Round table Breakfast Meeting on Fishing and Fisheries scheduled for the 13th of April 2023 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel,  Victoria Island Lagos.

The event Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting [MBRBM] with the theme “ILLEGAL, UNDOCUMENTED & UNREGULATED FISHING -THE BANE OF  NIGERIA’S BLUE ECONOMY “.

Stakeholders meet and share information on fishing and fisheries to develop recommendations for the Government and maritime stakeholders.

This process helps to set Nigeria’s Blue economy direction for the coming year and beyond.

Considering the strategic importance of FISHING AND FISHERIES to the development of Nigeria’s Blue Economy, organisations are invited to the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting [MBRBM] on Fishing and Fisheries scheduled for Thursday 13th April  2023  at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, at 9:00 am.

The aim of the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting [MBRBM] is to bring users and suppliers of Nigerian Maritime and Aquacultural services together to share ideas and explore opportunities  in Nigeria’s Blue Economy

The proposed panelists  for the meeting are:

  1. Abisola OLUSANYA -The Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Lagos State
  2. Benedette OKONKWO-President Nigerian Trawler Owners Association [NITOA]
  3. Enitan SOLARIN-Managing Director, YOA Insurance Brokers
  4. Dr. Bashir JAMOH -Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration, and Safety Agency
  5. Adekunle FASASI – President Fishermen Association
  6. The Director -Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development will give the keynote address and inaugurate the panel.

The proposed participants are Maritime and aquacultural Stakeholders, Fisheries & Fish Farmers, Owners of Fishing Trawlers, Industrial Fishers, Artisanal fishermen, Port Users, Maritime Stakeholders, Government Agencies, Banks (with maritime desk), Insurance companies, Ship-owners, Boat operators, Logistics companies, Freight Forwarders, Foreign entities.

The benefits of the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting are; Visibility, Growth, Networking, Impartation, and exchange of knowledge, Solutions.

The meeting costs N35,000 per delegate including a full breakfast, lead lecture, panel discussion, interactive session, and networking. The fee is payable to Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Account  Number 002 163 7817, Stanbic IBTC  Bank Limited.

Sponsorship package is available upon request.

To register in advance for this event kindly use the link below: REGISTRATION:  CLICK HERE

For further inquiries, please call +234 8033052747, 09081170879 or send a quick email to or

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NIMS 2022: Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, To Visit Nigeria



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Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) has now been confirmed to hold from 21 to 22 November 2022, with the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo as the Chief Host, and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation, H.E. Kitack Lim, as the keynote speaker.

A joint statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, and the Chairperson of the event’s Governing Board, Mfon Ekong Usoro, stated that the event will feature government-to-government, government-to-business, and business-to-business exchanges towards increasing investment and efficiency in the Nigerian maritime sector.

The visit by the H.E. Kitack Lim will be the first by an IMO Secretary-General to Nigeria in more than twenty years.

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In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

“We are pleased to have this rare opportunity to host the world’s top global maritime diplomat in Nigeria and to showcase the significant milestones achieved by this administration in the maritime industry”, the statement reads. “The visit of the IMO Secretary-General reflects the importance attached to Nigeria’s role in the Gulf of Guinea and her recent strides in confronting the challenge of maritime security and cleaner oceans. It also opens opportunities for Nigeria in ongoing and emerging multilateral engagements”.

During his visit, the Secretary-General is expected to engage in high-level consultations with government and private sector stakeholders with a special focus on the theme of the NIMS summit, Igniting the Blue Economy.

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Nigeria’s First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion



Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Following the successful delivery of the first set of Super Post Panamax State-of-the-art Ship to Shore (STS) Cranes and ten (10) Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) on the 1st of July, 2022 and the delivery of the second batch shipment critical to the commencement of operations comprising of two (2) STS Cranes with 115 packages of accessories and five (5) RTGs with 270 packages of accessories on 5th of August, 2022, the Lekki Deep Seaport is set to be completed on the schedule ahead commencement of operations before the end of the year 2022.

Speaking during his first official visit to the Lekki Deep Seaport on Saturday, 13th August 2022, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Muazu Jaji Sambo, expressed delight at the pace and quality of work at the Port site. Sambo commended the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for the tremendous support provided to Lekki Port in meeting the project timelines.

Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion
Left-Right: Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Mohammed Bello-Koko; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port, Mr. Du Ruogang; the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mallam Muazu Sambo and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani during the first official visit of the Honourable Minister to Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Sambo tasked Nigerian Railway Corporation, NPA, and Lekki Port to take urgent steps toward ensuring the Deep Seaport is linked by rail.

In his remarks, Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko said, “the very fact the letter of intent between Lekki Deep Seaport and its financial partners was signed in April 2019, and by 2022 we are close to operationalization; this project symbolizes the possibilities that tenacity of purpose can actualize”. He added that NPA remains unwavering in providing every support and facilitation necessary to ensure that the timelines for take-off are met.

The Managing Director of Lekki Deep Seaport, Mr. Du Ruogang, while making a presentation to the Minister and his entourage, disclosed that the construction works for phase 1 are nearing completion and are currently at about 96% complete. The Lekki Port team, together with the Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), are working hard to ensure that construction is completed in September 2022, and thereafter, port operations will start before the end of this year 2022.

He commended the Lagos State Government for their immense support, especially in resolving the road infrastructure situation, which is critical for the success of a port of this magnitude. He acknowledged that work has commenced on the road but urged the government to help expedite the construction works so the evacuation of cargo from the Port will be efficient.

Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion
Left-Right: Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Emmanuel Jime; the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mallam Muazu Sambo; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port, Mr. Du Ruogang; the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Mohammed Bello-Koko during the first official visit of the Honourable Minister to Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Highlighting the game-changing features, Ruogang stated that the port, upon completion, will have three (3) container berths, three (3) liquid berths, and a storage yard with over 15,000 ground slots terminal designed to support a throughput of 2.7 million TEUs annually, a Dry Bulk Terminal with an available quay length of about 300m amongst other distinctive attributes.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had in the first week of August secured through the Federal Ministry of Transportation an expedited presidential approval for the gazette of Lekki Deep Seaport as a Customs Port and an Approved Wharf in line with the requirements of the law. This development is another important step forward for the start of operations at the Port.

The Lekki Deep Seaport places Nigeria on the global list of nations with Deep Seaports and positions the country to maximize the comparative advantages that its maritime endowments and littoral assets confer.

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