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Title: Nigeria in the context of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Gulf of Guinea : human and national security dimensions of maritime security
Author: Okafor-Yarwood, Ifesinachi Marybenedette
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 0105
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Fish serves as a source of food and economic security for more than three billion people globally. In West and Central Africa, which make up the Gulf of Guinea, it accounts for up to 80 per cent of the population's animal protein and is sometimes the only source of animal protein consumed by coastal communities in the region. It also contributes to the revenue of many of the countries in the region. However, the ability of this resource to continue to contribute to the socioeconomic development of countries in the region is threatened existentially by an unfolding tragedy in the oceans, caused by unsustainable practices such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, which amounts to more than 65% of legally reported catches. The thesis argues that a lack of effective and efficient state institutions that can control the sustainable exploitation of the ocean's resources contributes to incidences of IUU fishing in the Gulf of Guinea. This undermines the food, economic, environmental, personal and community security of littoral communities in the region. The thesis also found that IUU fishing, as a threat to human security, has further implications for national security - and by extension regional security - as affected fisherfolk and fishmongers, in their attempts to adapt to their vulnerabilities, themselves engage in illegal acts that undermine the national security of their respective countries. Through the employment of qualitative research methods, such as primary interviews and focus group discussion, the thesis provides evidence from fishing settlements in Bonny in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria as a lens for understanding the rest of the Gulf of Guinea. The thesis answers the research question - do the human security implications associated with IUU fishing pose any threats to the national security of countries in the Gulf of Guinea? Using evidence from Bonny, the thesis found that IUU fishing imperils the peaceful use of the sea, impairs the exploitation of coastal resources, and, as such, undermines the national security of countries in the region. The findings of the thesis make a conceptual contribution to knowledge by building on existing research to advance the understanding of maritime security from the human security perspective. They bring out the centrality of the state (in)effectiveness thesis to maritime, human and national security. By focusing primarily on IUU fishing, the research contributes new data by demonstrating the human security implications of the threat for littoral communities in Bonny and how they respond to such threats to their security. The thesis also highlights how those responses undermine the national security of Nigeria, thus broadening the conceptual understanding of the interconnectedness of human and national security. Finally, the thesis contributes to the debate on the role and place of fisheries in the SDGs. It does so by showing through its arguments that actualising some of these SDGs especially SDG 14 - which seeks to ensure sustainable exploitation of the oceans, seas and marine resources - will be impossible for countries in the Gulf of Guinea, should IUU fishing be allowed to continue at its current rate.
Supervisor: Olonisakin, Oluwafunmilayo ; Ikpe, Ekaette Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available