Navy Hands over 13 Crew Members, Seized Trawler to Fishery Agency in Bayelsa

Olusegun Samuel

The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Bayelsa yesterday handed over 13 crew members and one seized fishing trawler to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The crew members and the trawler, MFV LADY TERESA were apprehended on August 18, 2022 off Brass waters in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The Commanding Officer of the Base, Capt. Muhammed Alhassan, said those arrested were 13 Nigerians.

He said the mariner had switched off their Automatic Identification System and violated the no trawling zone of 5NM from shoreline.

The commanding officer urged all mariners to be law abiding as they carry out their activities within the Nigerian maritime environment.

“All mariners and their agents must be aware that the Nigerian Navy has the capacity to track any vessel within the Nigerian waters up to Exclusive Economic Zone through the FALCON EYE and RMAC system.

“So, mariners are warned to keep their automatic identification and communication system operational, as switching it off constitutes a violation of the Nigerian maritime law,” he added.

Alhassan said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, had directed all Nigerian Navy operational units to strictly monitor all vessels and ensure compliance to maritime laws.

“The Nigerian Navy will not spare any offender that violates any of these laws within Nigeria’s maritime domain.

“Today, I hereby hand over MFV LADY TERESA to the representative of the federal department of fisheries for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.

Responding, Mr. Ifeanyiwa James, Field Officer, Federal Department of Fishery Rivers State, said the mariner would be investigated and prosecuted if found guilty.

She commended the Navy for safeguarding Nigeria’s maritime domain and commended them for the collaboration which has long existed.

James said that there are laws governing the industry, that if anyone breaks the law the person will be prosecuted accordingly. 

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