Stakeholders were drawn from the Academia, Fish Farmers, Feed Producers, Fish Processors, Civil Servants, Fish Marketers and Non-Governmental Organizations.
The meetings were co-chaired by the National President of Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), Chief Tayo Akingbolagun and the Chairman of Council of Fellows (COF), Prof. E. O. Faturoti, Ffs. Goodwill messages were given by representatives of NITOA, CAFAN, TADAN, FDF, Nigerian Navy and the Advocacy for Fisheries group, among others.
Stakeholders were broken into three main Innovation Platforms and deliberated on the following issues:
• Certification processes in Fisheries and Aquaculture
• Marketing strategy for local and export markets
• Networking among stakeholders including governance issue
• Value chain mapping
• Development of demand driven research
• Extension technology issues
• Fish health management
• Guideline of the charter issue of FISON
After two days of deliberation, stakeholders were able to develop guidelines for the operations of fisheries and aquaculture in Nigeria. These guidelines include the visions for the various platforms, procedures for certification and standardization of fish products and charter of fisheries professionals. Also included in the guidelines were strategies for enrolling relevant fisheries professionals and proper monitoring and surveillance of our industrial and artisanal fisheries.
Stakeholders also agreed that fisheries is a business and therefore re-emphasize their earlier call that there should be a stimulus to galvanize the fisheries sub-sector, such as:
• Zero import duty on all fisheries and aquacultural inputs be implemented
• That a regime of 1 and 2.5 percent interest rate for aquacultural and fisheries allied enterprises be implemented to enable local fisheries enterprises to stand with foreign investors who come into the country with cheap funds.
Stakeholders summarily agreed that FISON (as a lobby group) in collaboration with FDF, NIOMR, NIFFR, NAFDAC, NEPC, SON, FAO, UNDP, JICA, Worldfish, SMOA’s, MSADP’s, e.t.c should manage the certification, endorsements and accreditation needs of the fisheries sub-sector activities, especially under its charter registration outlook.