In furtherance of its fisheries restocking campaign, the FCT Administration through its Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) yesterday restocked Jabi Lake with no fewer than 18,000 fish fingerlings of different species.
Consequently, the Administration imposed a six-month embargo on fishing activity on the Jabi Lake, to enable the juvenile fisheries to fully developed.
Our correspondent reports that the fisheries restocking campaign is the fifth in the series since 1999, when it was first organised in the FCT.
Speaking while flagging off the exercise, ARDS Secretary, Stanley Ifeanyichukwu Nzekwe, said the lake restocking programme is an annual event geared towards enhancing the productivity of lakes and reservoirs in FCT.
Nzekwe explained that the decision to sustain the programme clearly underscores the importance this administration places on the issue of food security and poverty in Nigeria.
He noted that catching undersized fish and using all obnoxious fishing methods must be avoided as they constitute offence punishable under the Inland Fisheries Act(1992) and FCT Fisheries regulation (2010).
He equally warned that following the restocking exercise today that all fishing activities on this lake remains banned until after six months when the Secretariat will officially lift the closed season and closed area orders.
The ARDS boss e enjoined all stakeholders to explore natural fisheries resources in a very responsible and sustainable manner as prescribed in the international code of conduct for fisheries.
According to him, “The management and development of fisheries in lakes, lagoons, rivers, and reservoirs will enhance the productivity of artisan fishermen and conservation of natural fisheries resources on short and long term basis.
“The main strategy being to stock and restock existing lakes and reservoirs with fingerlings and juveniles of commercially important fish species as we are doing here today.
“All hands must be on to accelerate national fish production especially on the Inland waters.”
In his goodwill message, Chief of Jabi, Samuel Yabusan, commended the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello for showing interest in the promotion of food security in the Territory.
He advised fishermen and other residents to abide by the directive of the government on fishing in the lake.
Similarly, Chairman Jabi Fishermen Association, Adams Adason, described the initiative as apt, in advancing development of fisheries in the Territory.
He therefore reassured the resolve of the Association to support the restocking campaign, by complying with government, in order to achieve objective.