Shellfish farming capable of boosting Nigerian economy

SHELLFISH farming has been said to be a major booster of the Nigerian economy if embraced.

According to a professor of fisheries management, Professor Oluayo Bello-Olusoji of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), is still primarily gathered from the wild rather than farmed.

He made this known while presenting a paper titled: “Balanced Equation, the Missing Value–Shellfish” delivered at the Institution’s 124th Inaugural Lecture held in the university auditorium.

Olusoji pointed out that Nigeria was blessed with a long coastline of about 853 kilometres with the Niger Delta region also having a large unused beach edge.

This, according to him, can be used for coastal shrimp farming without destroying mangroves adding that creeks, floodplains, brackish water and wetland areas have been identified as the best places for shellfish aquaculture in the country.

He said: “There are many consumers outside the country in Europe, Asia and America who are longing for many of the shellfish species which are abundant in Nigeria”

“Shellfish is experiencing extremely good export potential as it is now being exported to over 77 countries,” the Don added

Olusoji further explained that shellfish can be categorised into crustaceans, which include prawns, shrimps, lobsters, freshwater crayfish and molluscs such as clams, snails, oysters and periwinkles.

Investing along this value chain can help to reduce fish importation, improve livelihood and income among the teeming nation’s populace he said.

Are you a shellfish farmer? Share your experience in the reply section.

Source: Tribune Online