The Executive Director of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography, Gbola Akande, in an interview, encouraged Nigerians to shift focus to shrimp farming in order to generate foreign exchange for the country.
This was made by the executive director as the local species of the Nigerian shrimps have been adjudged the best in the world.
He added that aquaculture is the best way to realize more foreign exchange for the country, tackle food crisis and resolve food insecurity. This is because Nigerian shrimps are exported as favourite in European countries and USA.
He mentioned that the major problem facing aquaculture in Nigeria is poaching, as the country could not adequately monitor its waters form poachers.
He further stated that; “The problem we have in the high sea is that a lot of poaching is taking place because we are not able to monitor our waters, we don’t have the capability to monitor our waters, but as regards shrimps, it is the only one now that we are getting a foreign exchange from”.
Expressing pessimism at the dwindling quantity of shrimps in the country’s waters, he encouraged farmers to embrace the mass production of this seafood.
He disclosed that a company has acquired 120 hectares of land in Badagry for commercial production and processing of shrimp.
He was quick to add that exportation of these cultured shrimps would require the EU certification.
He lamented the annual gap of 1.6 million metric tonnes of the annual demand for fish in the country which is put at 3.4 million metric tonnes.
The annual production and import are produced 968,243 metric tonnes and about 800,000 metric tonnes respectively.