Aminat Isah, Abuja
Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) have frowned at the continuous over-fishing and unregulated fishing by illegal high sea poachers who are mainly foreign vessels.
Margret Onyema-Orakwusi, speaking to newsmen at the on-going Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) said it is unacceptable to have foreigners invade the Nigerian waters and encroach on her natural resources and losing billions of dollars annually.
She noted that if the irresponsible manner with which the illegal fishing is done, it becomes very unfortunate as there are regulations in fishing which must be complied with.
“My question then is, we have these poachers that come to our waters without compliance to any known international or local law , they steal, they fish in a very irresponsible manner which means they sweep from bottom to top because they have nothing at stake in our waters and they leave and find markets for those products running into billions of dollars annually.”
She further lamented that the cost of Maritime security which she said is very expensive and making it easy for piracy, and the poarchers who are winning the war in the sea.
“How do we pull back and know some other methods of not encouraging what they are doing, of not allowing them sell their products and that is what we have been trying to advocate.
“The stolen products where are they finding market, what banking institutions do they use that they are not being accused of money laundering or that accommodates proceeds of crime, because for those of us who do it the right way, you have to invite getting your payment anywhere, tell the history of the fund.
“Why are the thieves getting away with it, is it an international conspiracy? So if we are not able to face the poachers in the high sea we should be able to force the financial institutions to be more prudent, ask questions, we have the law of money laundering all over the world,” she said.
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