Navy enhanced operation Motivated Arrests of Two Vessels and Crewmen

By Sandra Chukwunyere

In an enhanced and well coordinated operations,  the Nigerian Navy has arrested two fishing trawlers named ORC 5 and CYNTHIA belonging to ORC Fishing and Food Processing Limited along the Brass coastline in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

According to the Nigerian Navy, it also arrested alongside 26 crew members of the vessel, including 4 foreigners for their alleged involvement in carrying out illegal fishing activities within the restricted area of Nigerian waters. A  distance, sources alleged was about ‘five Nautical Miles’ off the Nigerian coastline.
Inside source from the Nigerian Navy the men could be among the various vessels and trawlers embarking in illegal fishing activities in Nigerian waters.
Handing over the arrested vessels with all 26 crew members to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture,  the Nigeria Navy Brass Commanding Base Officer, FORMOSO, Capt, Suleiman Ibrahim, said “the Navy detected the illegal activities of the two fishing vessels with the use of ‘Maritime Domain Awareness Equipment’ trawling within the ‘5 Nautical Miles’ restricted zones, and deployed same to intercept them”.
Speaking further on the arrest, Capt. Ibrahim,  hinted that such area illegally by the arrested vessels was supposed to be used by local fishermen and not bigger vessels to avoid conflicts with the locals, as it is exclusively reserved for the local fishermen but  regretted that the trawlers operators deliberately violated the regulations as they were aware of the regulations and its implications if violated.The captain however,  noted that further investigations will be done by the relevant authorities and if they are found culpable will face the law accordingly.In his remarks, the Assistant Director, Monitoring Control and Surveillance Unit of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr. Paul Opoama, while confirming the handing over of the suspects and the 2 vessels arrested by the Navy, noted that with the collaboration the Navy, illegality within the Nigerian territorial waters will be nip in the bud.The captain of the ORC 5 Vessel, Mr. Olayeye Ejagbomo, and his counterpart of Vessel CYNTHIA, Mr. Ayemobuma Omosuyi, claimed that they lost communication signals with their company which resulted in their trespassing into the restricted area.

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