Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, conveyed the Nigerian Navy’s keen interest in partnering with the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture.
This collaboration aims to bolster capacity building, conduct joint patrols, and enhance electronic surveillance to harness the benefits of the blue economy.
The FOC shared this vision during a courtesy visit to the Director of the Department of Fisheries, represented by Deputy Director Mrs. Oladosu Olanike, in Lagos.
Acknowledging the historical rapport between both organizations, Admiral Hassan assured the Fisheries Department of the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to combatting diverse maritime crimes. This visit was part of the FOC’s ongoing tour across the Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility.
Recognizing the limitations in patrol platforms within the Fisheries Department, the FOC proposed the deployment of Fisheries Department personnel aboard Nigerian Navy ships during patrols. This joint initiative would ensure the enforcement of fisheries regulations at sea, contributing significantly to the advancement of the blue economy. This aligns with the strategic directive of the Chief of the Naval Staff, emphasizing effective ocean governance and fostering the country’s blue economy.
Admiral Hassan further advocated for collaborative efforts through onshore training for Nigerian Navy crew members. This training aims to enhance their skills in implementing fisheries regulations during sea operations, especially in scenarios where fisheries department personnel might not be present.
In response, the Director of Fisheries affirmed the department’s readiness to collaborate extensively with the Nigerian Navy. She expressed optimism about nurturing a progressive relationship between the two organizations, focusing on joint efforts towards maritime safety, regulation enforcement, and the growth of the nation’s blue economy.
Commander Patricia Ochei, Command Information Officer of the Western Naval Command, disclosed these developments, highlighting the mutual commitment of the Nigerian Navy and the Fisheries Department towards fostering enhanced maritime governance, regulation enforcement, and the promotion of the blue economy in Nigeria.