ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS INFLUENCING ARTISANAL FISHING IN EASTERN OBOLO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
AbstractThe study identified the environmental factors affecting artisanal fishing in Eastern Obolo local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. The study specifically determined the socio-economic characteristics of the fish farmers, the environmental factors affecting fishing in Eastern Obolo local government area, the constraints faced by artisanal fishermen in Eastern Obolo local government area and the relationship between the socio-economic characteristics and the constraints faced. Ninety artisanal fishermen were selected using two-stage sampling techniques. Structured questionnaire and interview schedule was used to get information. The research objectives were analyzed using frequency, percentages and mean. On the socio-economics characteristics of the artisanal fishermen, it was found that majority (58%) were male with 36% of the respondents having secondary school as their highest level of education. Also 31% have fishing experience of below10 years with yearly fish output of above 1000kg by 31% of the respondents and yearly income of greater than N200,000 by 53% of the respondents while 81% belong to co-operative society. None of the respondents have been visited by extension agents. The major environmental factors affecting artisanal fishing in the area were oil spillage (100%), waste disposal (100%) and climatic factors (100%). On the constraints faced, the study found out that militant activities, inadequate finance, Oil spillage around depots, and Poor sales were found to be serious. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that, the Government and other appropriate authorities should enforce the fishing laws and regulations to avoid illegal exploitation of fishing grounds by trawlers and the destruction of artisanal fishing gears. Also, better access to relevant information should be enhanced by making extension services available to fish farmers in the various depots
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