Despite restriction, exportation of fish by Japan to Nigeria increased by 97.8 per cent in the last three years.
Nigeria’s exports from Norway fell to $12.78 million in 2018 – at a time Japan’s exports to Nigeria rose to $48.6 million.
Data obtained from International Trade Statistics (ITS) indicated that Japan has overtaken Norway by 73.87 per cent in 2018 on fish export to the country.
The ITS data further revealed that Nigeria’s total global fish imports stood at N198.5 billion ($543.92 million) in 2018.
In the past, Nigeria was Norway’s largest market for fish because of high taste for mackerel, but Japan has surpassed its competitor in mackerel and other pelagic species’ supplies to Nigeria.
It was gathered that Pacific mackerel from Japan, which was $500 per tonne, has forced prices of Norwegian fish down by 67 per cent from $1,500 per tonne.
The data revealed that Japan’s fish exports to Nigeria rose from $1.04 million or 2.14 per cent in 2016 to $48.62 million (97.8 per cent) in 2018.
Its export to Nigeria in 2017 was $28.57 million
On the contrary, Norway fish exports to Nigeria decreased by 44.02 per cent in the last three years because of the on-going stiff competition among exporters in the Nigerian fish market.
Findings by New Telegraph revealed that Norway exported fish valued at $22.8 million in 2016 and $23 million in 2017.
In the last two years, Nigeria imported 39, 875.3 tonnes.
In May this year, three vessels discharged 9,050 tonnes of fish at Lagos Port Complex at ENL Consortium terminal.
At the terminal, Sierra Lara offloaded 1,100 tonnes; Lagoon Phoenix, 5,250 tonnes and Samskip Glacier, 2,700 tonnes.
Also, last April, Lagos and Rivers ports took delivery of 30, 825.3 metric tonnes of fish valued at N16.9 billion ($46.23 million) in the last three weeks.
The fish were ferried to the ports by 10 vessels, as total global supplies of pelagic fish is expected to reach between 20 million and 21 million metric tonnes in 2019.
Statistics by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) revealed that three of the vessels had berthed with 3,509.3 tonnes at Rivers Port in Port Harcourt, while seven were at Lagos Port Complex with 27,316 tonnes.
At the Port Harcourt Port Complex are MV Delta Reefer with 1,191.71 tonnes, MV Libra, 747.751 and Super Maritime, 1,569.84 tonnes.
Also, at the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL), Lagos Port are Nova Zeelandia with 3,900 tonnes and Green Klipper, 3,000 tonnes.
Other vessels laden with 10, 409 tonnes at ENL Consortium terminal at Lagos Port are MV Runaway Bay with 5,631 tonnes; Frio Las Palmas, 4,130 tonnes; Baltic Forward, 5,355 tonnes; Sierra Laurel, 4,000 tonnes and Orange Spirit, 1,300 tonnes.
The Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) had already said that the total demand for fish in the country was over 3.6 million tonnes, while domestic production was 1.027 million tonnes.
It was also gathered that Nigeria’s fish deficit was 2.233 million tonnes.