Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Bayelsa has handed over 13 crew members and one seized fishing trawler to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The trawler, MFV LADY TERESA with the crew were apprehended on August 18th, 2022 off Brass waters in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
The Commanding Officer, Capt. Muhammed Alhassan, explained that all the crew members were Nigerians. On the point of arrest, he added, the mariner switched off their Automatic Identification System and violated the “no trawling zone of 5NM from shoreline.”
“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 (EEZ) 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 further stated 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.
He commended the Navy for safeguarding Nigeria’s maritime domain and commended them for the collaboration which has long existed.