EVALUATION OF THE ECOWAS FUND FOR ACCELERATED ARTISANAL FISH PRODUCTION PROJECT IN DELTA STATE NIGERIA
The study evaluated the ECOWAS fund accelerated artisanal fish production project (EFAAFPP) in Delta State. Primary data for the study were obtained through the use of interview schedule from 120 respondents of artisanal fisher folks (AFFs) while secondary data were obtained from the NACRDB office. Percentage, mean, t-test, chi-square statistics and factor analysis were used in analyzing data. Majority (65.8%) of the respondents were males and married (68.1%). Their mean age was 45.7 years.The study further revealed that fibre glass canoes; canoes, outboard engines, synthetic fishing nets, ice boxes, smoking kilns, floaters, sinkers, anchors, and fishing accessories like knives, lanterns, and hooks were distributed at a total value of N 97,635,200 to AFFs in Delta State by the NACRDB. Results of the findings showed that the respondents have adopted the following technologies disseminated by extension agents: synthetic fishing nets, smoking kilns, post harvest processing technique, and mending synthetic nets.The identified coping mechanisms used by AFFs during poor harvest and off-season included small scale artisanal fishing ( X = 2.34); farming ( X = 2.26), harvesting of crustaceans ( X = 2.00) and harvesting of bivalves ( X = 2.00). The programme had contributed to the standard of living of AFFs in terms of an increase in their income, household materials possessed, and ease of accessibility to modern fishing inputs. The study further revealed that there was a significant association (Χ² = 68.5; P ≤ 0.05) between the different household materials possessed by AFFs and therir participation in the EFAAFPP. A similar significant association (Χ² = 142.8; P ≤ 0.05) was observed between the level of artisanal fishing skills acquired by AFFs and their participation in the intervention. Also there was a significant association (Χ² = 123.4; P ≤ 0.05) between the ease in accessibility to modern fishing inputs by the AFFs and their participation in the programme. Finally a significant association (Χ² = 116.6; P ≤ 0.05) was observed between the participation of AFFs and their knowledge of searching for additional artisanal fishing technologies. The identified major constraints to the effective performance of the EFAAFPP were family problems, environmental problems and extraneous problems. It was recommended that a community based management approach involving all key stakeholders should be introduced in artisanal fishing communities in Delta State to regulate the exploitation of fisheries resources for continued sustainability of all participants who fish within these open waters.
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