Research suggests that Nigeria can save over N288 billion ($800 million) being spent on the importation of fishes annually, if the nation’s deep ocean resources are optimally developed and harnessed.
Director/Head, Fisheries Resources Department, Nigeria Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Dr. Parcy Ochuko Obatola, who disclosed this, said Nigeria is naturally endowed with a lot of marine resources, a report by ThisDay newspaper revealed.
According to him, these resources have been left untapped over the decades thereby leading to huge economic losses. Research, she further stated that Nigeria consumes about 2million metric tons of fishes every year but can only produce less than 800,000 metric tons domestically thereby necessitating the importation of about 1.2 million metric tons.
She disclosed that over 70 per cent of the fishes domestically supplied are produced by small scale fishermen whose activities litter the coast line.
“Right now when we look at the demand and supply of fishes in Nigeria, there is still a huge deficit. The demand is almost three million metric tons per annum. The supply is about two million metric tons and there is still a deficit of over one million including those imported and those produced within this country. We are producing about 800,000 metric tons in Nigeria.