Cross River fishing communities, coastlines now fortified – Navy

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Cross River fishing communities, coastlines now fortified – Navy
Cross River fishing communities, coastlines now fortified – Navy

Africa-Press – Nigeria. Fishing settlements near Cameroon, such as Parrot Island, Ibaka, Qua, Ikang, Qua field, and Dayspring as well as the numerous creeks and coastlines where Nigerians carry out economic activities daily are now well fortified.

Before now, many armed gangs, including sea robbers and kidnappers had turned these places into their dens, attacking fishermen.

In an interview, the commander of Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, Rotimi Oderemi said they have now been able to deploy their presence and conduct round-the-clock patrols and surveillance on the waters.

As a result of these, Oderemi said the Navy have gained the hearts and minds of the local fishermen, seafarers and those residing along the coastlines.

“They now have confidence in their safety. We’ve maintained our heavy presence in most of the creeks, fishing settlements and islands in the Calabar waterways and all through to Ibaka coastal communities in Akwa Ibom State. We’ve gained the hearts and minds of the coastal dwellers and fishermen.

“Through intelligence sharing with other security agencies, and using assets of the joint task force of Operation Sanity, we’ve curtailed piracy, smuggling, kidnapping and oil thefts which were rife before.

“We also collaborate with maritime agencies of other nearby countries in the Bakassi axis such as Cameroon and Sao Tome and Principe as some of our operations are extended seaward up to exclusive economic zones of 200 nautical miles.”

The NNS Victory commander disclosed that his team has been able to intercept some vessels involved in maritime illegalities within the Calabar Channel and creeks.

To sustain and enhance their operations, he called for improvements in their Naval platforms as the area has a large coastline and numerous creeks.

“We need adequate platforms preferably those with flat bottoms that could enable us penetrate deeper into the backwaters. We require robust logistics that can support our operations”, he said.

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