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Fish Production Declining Says Expert

Education & academia

NIGERIA - The national fish productivity is on the decline, according to Antetekhai Martinsa, professor of fisheries at Lagos State University (LASU), writes The Nation.

Mr Martins said fresh seafood and fish production across the nations waters has declined.

Most of this fall is attributed to decline in wild-catch fisheries, falling at least at an average annual rate of five per cent.

Capture fish production dominated marine fisheries, accounting for 80 per cent of fish harvested.

He said capture fish production is on the decline affected by over fishing , fuel prices and labour constraints. Mr Martins stressed that illegal poaching by foreign nationals also affects the fish production.

Overall, growth in the real value of aquaculture has moderated the overall decline in the real value of fisheries production.

Even with the fall in capture fisheries, Mr Martins said approximately 70 per cent of all seafood products are sold to foreign markets.

This follows the rising price of shrimp, tilapia, crabs and other species that have gone up in the international market - a trend expected to influence and redirect world fishery trade.

He said a lot of Nigerians export shrimps and crabs, mostly for reprocessing.

The industry, Mr Martins said, is looking up to aquaculture as an essential source of nutrition. In fact, a substantial per cent of fish and seafood is now farmed.

According to him, aquaculture production has increased by 40 per cent and that its growth has been a major trend.

Mr Martins however identified the lack of market as the major factor militating against viable fish farming business in the state.