The depletion of fish stocks Nigeria could pose a threat to regional security
Just a couple of years Nigeria will become a country whose population will reach or even exceed 200 million people. And by 2050 the UN expects that Nigeria will live a third population of the world.
Therefore, the issue of providing the residents of the country’s food supply will be a huge challenge, not least because millions of Nigerians depend on fisheries on the coastline of the Atlantic ocean. fishing is mostly small-scale artisanal fishermen. These livelihoods are currently threatened due to climate change, environmental pollution and illegal fishing.
First, climate change as warming oceans habitat of the fish will deteriorate and biodiversity will be lost. Many fish migrate to the poles, which makes fishing in the high latitudes more productive, while suffering tropical fisheries. Nigeria, located just above the equator, suffer particularly badly. According to the world Bank, by 2050 the fishing resources of the country will be reduced by 53%.
Nigeria adopted the strategy for combating climate change through the political process of the UN and culminated in the Paris agreement, but it seems that she has not received wide application. Also there is no evidence of adaptation policies that would allow vulnerable coastal communities to become more resilient in the face of climate change.
Secondly, pollution by oil companies also threatens the lives of more than 6.5 million people in the Delta area of the Niger river. Spilling oil field Bonga 2011, owned by Shell Nigeria is one of the latest examples of conformity to norms of environmental protection. The spill was discharged about 40,000 barrels of crude oil, which then spread along the coast of the Atlantic ocean, 185 km to Nearly 30,000 fishermen were forced to abandon their activities. According to the Association of fishermen of the Niger, a community not only received compensation but also suffered from population declines in fish Bonga – common species in the area.
Being a relatively poor country with relatively rich seas, Nigeria are also vulnerable to illegal fishing by foreign vessels, mainly from China. This is not surprising because in the government fisheries Department has no patrol boats to monitor fishing vessels, and for more than 15 years have not been budget allocations for “monitoring, control and surveillance”. In March 2018 the Nigerian Navy said that the country is losing about 70 million U.S. dollars annually due to illegal fishing.
These three threats are in addition to the impending disaster: according to a report by the ODI, half of the fish species in the waters of West Africa are already overly exploited.
Without a clear strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change and adaptation, a weak policy in fisheries and environmental management is growing potential for unrest. Coastal communities are trying to strengthen their sustainability without institutional support, but can undermine the stability of relations between Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
To avoid such conflict resources from their shores, Nigeria needs a national plan of action on how to help people who remain vulnerable due to depleting fisheries. To do this, first you will need robust mechanisms for monitoring and control to prevent illegal fishing and ensure sustainable use of the remaining resources of the country. Environmental agencies must also be better equipped to enforce existing rules, including ensuring that the oil companies clean up their spills to the level observed in developed countries.
According to the materials: fishretail.ru