Aquatic biodiversity and the implication in artisanal fishery production
Artisanal fisheries in coastal marine and brackish water areas and the inland freshwater ecosystems evaluated revealed their fisheries resources and potentials for valuable protein supply in Nigeria. The characteristics small scale fishing activities of the artisanal fisherfolks are prominent in inshore coastal, riverine, reservoir and lake ecosystems with the operation of simple fishing gears including traps, gill nets, hooks, longlines, clapnets and cast nets. Considering an annual average fish production of over 0.64 tonnes per fisherman per year in the coastal fishing areas, the artisanal fisheries subsector accounts for a significant contribution of over 75% of the total domestic fish harvests in Nigeria. Catch composition of shellfish and finfish landings include: Ethmalosa spp, Sardinella spp, Ilisha spp, Pesudotolithus spp, Panaeus spp, Nematopolaemon spp, Clarias spp, Gymnarchus spp and Citharinus spp. With the adoption of effective fisheries management strategies to prevent overexploitation and degradation of the aquatic biodiversity, artisanal fisheries could be developed through effective community participation to attain sustainable increase in fish food harvest in Nigeria.
Keywords: Aquatic biodiversity, artisanal fishery, community participation, ichthyodiversity