The Forward Operating Base (FOB), Nigerian Navy, Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, has arrested and handed over four Ghanaians and ten Nigerian suspects to the Federal Department of Fisheries, Calabar.
Uche Aneke, the commanding officer FOB, while handing over the vessel and suspects on Wednesday, said they were arrested near the NNPC floating station in Ibaka Beach on September 14 for illegal trawling. Aneke said that the vessel was arrested within Calabar Channel, where they were actively engaged in illegal trawling.
The Motor Fishing Trawler (MFT) LAMU 1, with registration number LA799, was arrested by 15:20 p.m on September 14.
“This incident came to light after a report from Eastern Regional Control Centre, Calabar indicated that MFT LAMU 1, had been involved in illegal fishing activities within five nautical miles offshore the Calabar Channel, and within FOB Ibaka’s area of operation,” he said.
The commanding officer said that the command was committed to upholding Nigeria’s maritime laws and ensuring the sustainability of the coastal waters for national development, in line with the chief of naval staff’s strategic directives.
Responding, Stella Anuforo, Fisheries Officer II, Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Annex Calabar, thanked the navy for securing the maritime environment.
She said that the department would further investigate the culprits if found wanting, appropriate action would be taken against them.