Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom has arrested 14 suspects for illegal fishing and impounded their vessel.
Those arrested were four Ghanaians and 10 Nigerians who were handed over to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Calabar on Tuesday by Capt. Uche Aneke, the commanding officer of the base.
The suspects were arrested within five nautical miles in the Calabar Channel on Monday, Nov. 27 for engaging in illegal trawling, Aneke said.
He added that their operational vessel, MFT LAMU 1 was impounded on Dec. 18, however.
Aneke explained that the suspects were duly informed not to disembark from the vessel while armed sentries were assigned on-board for security checks.
“A report from the Eastern Regional Control Centre in Calabar on Nov. 27 indicated that MFT LAMU 1 had been involved in illegal fishing within five nautical miles offshore the Calabar Channel,’’ he said.
Taking delivery of the suspects, Mrs Stella Anuforo, Fisheries Officer at Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Calabar, thanked the Nigerian Navy for securing the marine environment.
She said the department would further investigate the suspects and take appropriate actions.
“The Federal Department of Fisheries will take further action in line with provisions of Nigeria’s laws on the maritime environment,’’ Anuforo said.