Profile of Fishermen Migration in Nigeria and Implications for a Sustainable Livelihood
Bernadette Tosan Fregene
Limited documentation exists on migrant fishermen, who are indigenous people and mostly Ghanaians fishing in the marine and inland water bodies. This study therefore aims to identify the causes, courses of fishermen migration as well as the demographic characteristics of migrant fishing households in the Nigerian South West coastal fishing communities using the neoclassical economic and network theories. Results reveal that they operate extended family system similar to what operates in their places of origin. The main cause of fishermen migrating from other West African countries to Nigeria is due to seasonal migration of commercial fish species and some of the migrants have permanently settled in the fishing communities. Logit model analysis shows that migrant fishermen are likely to be located in the west coast of Lagos State (p<0.01). Migrant fishermen have fishing as a primary source of income (p<0.05), are members of fishermen cooperatives (p<0.05) and are likely to be literate (p<0.10), but do not use family labour (p<0.05). Due to migration they are confronted with challenges such as declining fish stocks, attitude to management of common property resource, living communities which lack basic infrastructures and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.