Unilorin Professor seeks review of Argungu, Pategi Rigatta festivals……..calls for ban of sport fishing

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A Professor of Zoology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, Professor James Sunday Omotosho has called for the immediate ban of Sport fishing and review of fishing festivals in Nigeria.

Omotosho also recommenced that festivals such as Argungun Fishing Festivals in Kebbi State, Nwonyo Fishing Festival in Taraba State, Pategi, Regatta in Kwara State and several other festivals be reorganized to eliminate stress and pain in fishes in the process of these activities.

Professor Omotosho made this call on Thursday, 2nd of November, 2017 while delivering the 174th inaugural lecture of the University of Ilorin entitled  “Fish: Their Prize and Pain”  held at the institution  main Auditorium.

“Sport fishing should be immediately banned. Festivals such as Argungun Fishing Festivals, in Kebbi State, Nwonyo Fishing Festival, in Taraba State, Pategi, Regatta, in Kwara State etc, should be reorganized to eliminate stress and pain in fishes in the process” Profesor Omotosho recommended.

The 174th inaugural lecturer of the University of Ilorin also called on Nigerian Government to regulate human activities that involve metals in  riverine and coastal areas of Nigeria in order to preserve and  protect  aquatic life.

Omotosho who has been a professor since 2005 advocated for a research organization in Nigeria that will develop institutional guidelines that are based on the best scientific evidence currently available concerning the biological nature of fishes, so as to address animal welfare considerations.

While describing fishes as very important to man existence, Omotosho called for the introduction of endangered species laws as obtainable in some developed countries to prohibit dumping of wastes, chemicals, particles, pesticides and  industrial discharges into oceans and seas

Apart from the economic and feeding advantages of fishes, Omotosho said fishes are very medicinal as it has been proven by medical experts that fishes could be used to treat ailments like skin diseases, anaemia, abdominal problems, weak erection in men, irregular menstrual cycle, women infertility and improvement of bones among others.

He therefore appealed to Federal Government to strengthen the monitoring, control and surveillance mechanism of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to check illegal exploitation of the marine fishery resources by foreign vessels and dumping of sewage in this water body.

“Government should enforce procedure to guide irresponsible fish exploitation and obnoxious fishing methods and operations through monitoring and surveillance” Omotosho added.

Speaking further on alleviating the plight of fish, Professor  Omotosho called for the establishment of a  research organisation in Nigeria which will develop institutional guidelines from the best scientific evidence  available on the biological nature of fishes adding that this will  address the welfare challenges of fishes.

“Those located along river Asa should be strictly controlled to save the environment from the increase in the levels of trace metals and avoid endangering the fish population through metal poisoning arising from this river, which is a potential health hazard for the inhabitants of Ilorin and its environs.

He frankly opposed the habit of  dumping of wastes, chemicals, particles and invocated discharge from industries and factories into oceans and seas, as water pollution of any form is very hazardous to fishes.

He said Nigeria is blessed with a coastline of some 850 kilometers and a continental shelf area of about 25,000 – 40,000 square kilometers, with an abundant and rich fishing ground.

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