One Person Killed As Atlantic Shrimpers Fishing Trawler Crew Attacks Bonny

By Anderson Hart

The Bonny indigenous Fishermen Co-operative Union (BIFCU) has cried foul over a recent gun attack that claimed the life of one of its member, Late Mr. Ntiense-Abasi Ezekiel, left Mr. Godday Ossah riddled with bullet wounds and three others Mr. Maxwell Philip, Mr. Etim Ndaowo and John Akpan traumatised.

In a statement made available by the President of the body, Comrade Promise A. Bristol he said the fishermen were attacked unprovoked by a crew of fishing trawler boat named LILLLY II belonging to Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd, whose office is located at NPA, Apapa Phase 1 Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, Lagos Nigeria.

According to him the union members went out for fishing on the 22nd day of January 2014. The type and size of their fishing boat is 4 ½ fathom boat and a 9.9 horse power Yamaha outboard engine. The fishermen, who are residence of the sand fill area of Bonny, went out for BONGA fishing within 2.8 nautical miles off the shores of the NLNG RA1 beach in the early hours of the above date. It was within this point that they carried out their fishing activities and after casting their nets the said trawler trawled into their set nets.

On seeing the damage caused to their fishing gears, the fishermen started shouting and waving at the fish trawlers in a bid to inform them of the damage of their nets and how they could retrieve them but to no avail, they then decided to drive towards the fishing vessel as they approached the vessel the crew of the fish trawlers opened sporadic gun fire on the fishermen.

Late Mr. Ntiense-Abasi Ezekiel who was positioned at the bow of the canoe was shot dead instantly with bullet wounds in his chest and stomach axis. Expectedly according to him, the driver of the canoe having seen one of his crew members shot dead swerved the boat away from the trawler but sustained bullet wounds on his leg.

On arrival to Bonny the victims of the trawler shooting went to the Bonny marine police office to make entries and ended up being detained and later were transferred to the River state CID Moscow road Port-Harcourt where they were later released and are now back to Bonny. The corpse of the deceased has since been deposited at the Bonny General hospital mortuary.

Bristol explained that the recent gruesome incident of January 22nd 2014 has not been the only one in the area, he said over the years members of the union have recorded a huge losses from the activities of fishing trawlers in our fishing grounds. Fishing trawlers no longer fish in deep waters but in shallow waters thereby destroying the very livelihood of shallow water fishermen..

In his closing assertion, Comrade Bristol the BIFCU helmsman stressed: “We are therefore using this opportunity to call on the relevant authority to intervene on this matter so as to check and forestall the excessive brutal and evil activities of fishing trawler crews men who now on daily basis have gone brutal with the resolve to kill on our fishing grounds and to also bring to book the perpetrators of this inhuman and dastardly act”.

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