Fishermen in Makoko, a popular Lagos slum on the lagoon, have lamented that the dredging and oil exploration activities of government agencies and their partners have pushed more fish beyond the reach of fishing nets.
They made this known on Monday at a community dialogue themed ‘Fish-Not-Oil’ facilitated by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF). According to the fishermen, the continuous dredging of water bodies across the state has sent the fish into deeper waters.
According to a fishermen and local chief in the community, J.P. Akere, they no longer enjoying fishing and those who have fishing nets have had them destroyed by chemicals.
“Oil spillage coming all the way from Delta has affected so many fishermen and we are no longer making money. Our nets have been destroyed by the chemicals in the water. Also, dredging has made the fish to go down to where the nets cannot reach.”
However, in his welcome address, director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, said the community dialogue was aimed at preparing an action plan that would help recover ecological heritage and preserve same for future generations.
“Many fish species are going extinct. The only option for many fisher folks is to go into the high seas before they can hope to have a good catch. The question is how many fisher folks can afford the boats and equipment needed for fishing in the high seas? How many can tango with the toxic combination of sea pirates and illegal international fishing gangs out there?” he said.