Aquaculture experts have called for the intervention of Federal Government in the sector for growth and increased productivity.
They made the call while speaking to newsmen on Monday in Lagos.
Dr Chuks Ekeledo, a fisheries consultant and Chief Executive Officer of Magnificat Fisheries, said the sector needs another impetus for growth.
He said, “If the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy will positively affect the aquaculture sector, it is dependent on the head of the ministry.
“The passion the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy has for the aquaculture will propel its impact on the sector.
“For now, we will watch the Ministers of Agriculture and Marine and Blue Economy to see how they can influence the sector.
“We have observed that Fisheries and Aquaculture is only on item 16 on the agenda of Marine and Blue Economy Ministry.
“What is apportioned to aquaculture is not even up to two pages in the whole document.
“This implies the limit where they will function in terms of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
“Unlike the Federal Ministry of Agriculture that has a whole department for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
“Blue economy on its own is so wide, that aquaculture and fisheries is just a spec.”
Similarly, a fish farmer and Chief Executive Officer, AZ Animal Feeds, lKemi Egbucha, told newsmen that the sector needs fast intervention for it to survive the hardships it currently faces.
Mrs Egbucha said, “Presently, due to the increment in fish feed, the aquaculture sector needs the right propeller to thrive.
“We hope both the ministries of Agriculture and Marine and Blue Economy will come to the aid of fish farmers.
“We have so many fish farmers opting out of the sector for several reasons, hence, the ministries need to come to our aid.
“If they could provide inputs like some fingerlings and juveniles, it will help cushion the plights of the farmers.
“If there is no intervention in the sector, most fish farmers will close shop and will have to depend on fish imports.
“Fisheries and aquaculture sector may be on the brink of collapse if more attention is not paid to it.”
Also, Bashir Amin, a fishmonger and consultant, said the two ministries could work together and ensure that the sector is given its due focus to cause rapid growth.
Mr Amin said, “With the marine and blue economy on board, it will help reposition the fisheries and aquaculture sector for growth.
“Both inland and marine fisheries and aquaculture will take a good turn with the impact of the marine and blue economy.
“This will help for rapid development of the sector because things will be better streamlined than before.
“It will also aid rapid development of the aquaculture sector.”
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