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Socio-Economic Characteristics, Artisanal Methods and Constraints among Fishers in Lower River Niger, Kogi State Nigeria

J. B. Ogunremi
M. M. Onimisi
M. I. Oshimagye
H. I. Opaluwa


Artisanal fishery and its potential are threatened in Nigeria due to some methods used in fishing and unavailable inputs. The study investigated socio-economic characteristics, artisanal methods and constraints among fishers in the lower river Niger, Kogi State Nigeria. All four Local Governments along lower River Niger were selected and thirty percent (30%) of artisanal fishers were randomly selected from each community in each of the four Local Governments to make up one hundred and ninety-four (194) respondents. Data were collected through structured questionnaires and scheduled interviews administered to the artisanal fishers. Data were analyzed with descriptive (frequency, percentage and mean) and inferential analyses which include Chi square. The results showed that 89.2% were male, 56.2% are married, 41.2%, have a household size of 1- 4 and 54.1% of fishers earned a daily income of #5,000 - #10,000. Catfish spp (43.1%) was the dominant fish species caught; fishing is mostly done in the evening by 54.1% of the fishers, 69.1% of the fishers used planked canoes while only 28.9% used outboard engine, 54.1% used cast net, 41.8% used subsidized fishing craft. Constraints of fishers ranked by mean weighted score revealed that lack of sufficient capital x = 3.70 and decrease in catch x = 3.68 were the major constraints encountered by the artisanal fishers. The study recommended that fishers should form cooperative association through which their resources can be pulled together and made available to members in the form of loans and for the procurement of fishing inputs that can be hired out at low rate to solve the problem of inadequate capital.