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Nigeria has joined the international declaration against organized crime in the global fisheries industry. In other words, the Copenhagen declaration. The encounter took place on the 24th of August in the presence of Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy Bjørnar Skjæran at the Nor-Fishing expo held in Trondheim, Norway.

Special Advisor Akeju Olagbaju of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (centre left) and Bjørnar Skjæran, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy. Norway’s ambassador to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein, is on the far right. Credit: Yngve Angvik, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries

To sum up, Bjørnar Skjæran, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy of Norway said: “Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and a major seafaring nation. That’s why I am delighted to welcome Nigeria aboard. I am grateful that they have opted to support the declaration against organized fisheries crime. This is a global issue and a significant problem in West Africa. I, therefore, hope that more African countries follow the Nigerian example and sign up.”

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Firstly, Norway and eight other countries made a political declaration to tackle cross-border organized crime in 2018. Now, the initiative has support from 50 coastal nations. The initiative includes a range of aid-oriented activities. Besides, a digital common services for those countries that are partnered up with the declaration through the Norwegian Blue Justice Initiative.

“To extend our reach, we have used the Blue Justice Initiative to focus on digital common services. It will provide developing countries with assistance in their work against fisheries crime. This means they will also be able to take advantage of the opportunities afforded. By digitalization and innovation in this area,” added Skjæran.

Finally, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, confirmed: “The fight against fisheries crime is important in our wider struggle against poverty and the pursuit of food security. Organized fisheries crime prevents the good management of fish stocks and it devastates the livelihoods of law-abiding fishermen. Developing countries need all the tax receipts they can get. Fishermen need to be confident that fish stocks will be maintained.”

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