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Robbery attacks on fishing trawlers decline in 2021 as union seeks improved welfare of sailors

By Adaku Onyenucheya
23 March 2022   |   3:21 am
The Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) has confirmed the decline in piracy attacks, stating that fishing vessels recorded only two sea robbery attacks in 2021.

The Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) has confirmed the decline in piracy attacks, stating that fishing vessels recorded only two sea robbery attacks in 2021.

A top official of the agency who stated this, also disclosed that there has been no attack recorded in the first quarter of 2022.

The source revealed that the drastic reduction is the result of the constant patrol by the men of the Nigerian Navy.

He admitted that the naval personnel has been monitoring the waterways closely in recent times leading to a positive outcome.

He also said another factor that led to the reduction, is the guards attached to the vessels.

Recall that fishing trawlers had recorded incessant attacks in the line of duty, much that it caused some of the ship owners to quit the arena.

In 2013, over 20 trawlers were active in the fishing sub-sector of the maritime industry but gradually reduced to less than 10 in 2019.

The attacks on fishing vessels, kidnapping, hostage-taking and activities of foreign fishing vessels threw the Nigerian trawlers out of business.

The NITOA source noted that in recent times, there has been reduction in the number of attacks on vessels in the fishing business in Nigeria.

Primarily, most of the attacks on fishing trawlers were recorded in the Niger Delta region of the country, even as seafarers have clamoured for the deployment of coast guards to support the fight against insecurity in the region.

The National President, Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA), Bob Yousou, while lending his voice on the fishing sub-sector of the maritime sector, urged members of NITOA to improve on the welfare of sailors.

He also called on the government to rectify Convention 188F and other fishing conventions to boost the sector in the country.

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