Lagos - The Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) has raised the alarm over plans by an Asian firm to introduce a strange fish species into the country illegally.
Foluke Areola, a Director of Fisheries at FDF, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
She alleged that the firm had been sending e-mails to fish farmers informing them of its plan to visit Nigeria to distribute fingerlings of the species called Mekong giant catfish to fish farmers.
“The effect of allowing this species of unknown origin will be to the detriment of the ecosystem in terms of bio-diversity of our waters and the commercially cultured species in the country.”
“And obviously, this is not being planned to go through due process under an import licence and quarantine procedure of movement of live fish between countries,” she said.
Areola said that the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service and the Customs would be duly informed to be on the alert to frustrate any attempt to import live fish into the country.
Areola urged stakeholders not to purchase the said catfish and to lookout for all those who were trying to import the fish.
“We must all police the importation of this giant fish and report accordingly and ensure they do not succeed.”
“Farmers are also warned not to attempt to culture the said catfish,” she said.