‘Fishes smuggling threat to food security’

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A fisheries expert, Prof Udeme Enin, has warned that smuggling foreign fishes, which may threaten native species,pose danger to food safety.

Enin of the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Calabar, said too many invasive alien species have been introduced in the name of food production and improving livelihoods, but these has often led to ecological imbalance.

He  noted that introducing foreign tilapia without clean bill of health from the fisheries department could lead to introduction of invasive alien species with potential adverse impact to the natural ecosystem.

He warned against unreported breeding or introduction of fishes, adding that the authorities need to be strict in issuing import permits.

According to him, the proliferation of invasive alien species, may affect the country’s food-production capacity, as well, citing its potential impact in water bodies.

Enin urged the government to intensify the campaign against smuggling of fish and prevent the entry of potentially invasive alien species that may adversely affect the environment.

He  implored law enforcers manning airports and seaports to  improve surveillance nationwide.

He said monitoring in airports and seaports should be tightened to prevent smugglers from bringing in smuggled food products.

He appealed for caution in the importation and introduction of non-native species for commercial propagation as they pose a threat to the country’s rich biodiversity.

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