Lagos — THE Nigerian Trawler Owners Association, NITOA, has demanded the removal of trawlers from the Nigerian Cabotage Act saying that “the Global Maritime Industry is governed by two international bodies, the International Maritime Labour, ILO, and the International Maritime Organization, IMO.
In their presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration during the recently concluded public hearing on Maritime Laws, NITOA protested the inclusion of fishing trawlers under the Act.
Recall that a Ministerial Committee on the review and implementation of the Cabotage Act recommended an administrative exemption of trawlers pending the amendment of the Act.
In the presentation NITOA’s President, Mrs Ben Okonkwo, said that since fishing activities do not include carriage or transportation of goods or passengers as economic activities, trawling and fishing should be excluded from the Cabotage regime.
Parts of the presentation reads: “Our complaints rest on certain provisions which erroneously classified fishing trawlers as Cabotage vessels. We desire to draw the attention of the Committee members to these provisions of the Cabotage Act: 2003 under part one particularly section: 2(a), 2(b), 2(c) of the Cabotage Act.
“Having clearly seen, the scope of the Cabotage Act coverage, the idea of including Fish trawling companies which are Agro based indigenous fishing companies on the Cabotage regime, was to all intents and purposes ill-advised.
“Again, the Fishing Trawlers are authorized to fish under license from Federal Department of Agriculture whose activities at sea are exclusively centered on the fishing and harvesting of living fisheries resources which are ferried to our counterparts in crops -Plantation farming and livestock production whose products are sent to the local markets and for exports.”
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