#MaritimeRealityCheck: Data is our voice for relevance in Decade of Ocean Science
Margaret Orakwusi is the Chief Executive Officer Morbod Fisheries Ltd., in Lagos, Nigeria. She was President, Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA). Presently, she is the Chairman, Shipowners Forum Nigeria, and Chairman Maritime Trade Group of NACCIMA.
On our “Maritime Reality Check” series, Orakwusi gives her insights and thoughts on the importance of working with the big data in the nation’s maritime industry, for adequate guidance on relevant activities as proposed by the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
She says it is disappointing that Nigeria has not started observing closed season (fishing holidays) to enable a natural replenishment of resources being taken over the years.
- Data collection is key. So, you must have figures to work with.
- .As industrial fishing businesses exporting our products, shellfish mainly- shrimps, prawns, crabs, lobsters to a regulated marker ; the Europe, and some to America, We have had to ensure adequate data collection, without which you cannot work.
. Look at the maritime sector, look at shipping, look at what we have, yet we do not have ocean-going vessels. Look at the tonnage we generate? Who is carrying it? They are foreign vessels.
- We fish for today and leave enough for tomorrow. We comply with the sizes of the fishing nets, We comply with international regulation. We use the toad excluder device.
- There is need for a closed season when nobody is allowed to go out there to fish. And it is useful because, it gives that opportunity for the growth of the Marine resources and gives us time to dry dock vessels, overhaul vessel engines and it becomes a win-win situation for the Marine creatures and for the vessel owners.
- With over 90% of industrial fishing companies domiciled in Lagos, there is yet a single fishing terminal.