Sea Piracy in Coastal Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State (Published)
Recently, the coastal Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State are witnessing an upsurge in sea piracy. These local government areas are, Eastern Obolo, Ibeno and Mbo. Because these local government areas are located between the Imo and the Cross River estuaries, which border on the Atlantic Ocean, this area of study is politically administered by the government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. The emergence of sea pirates in these local government areas did not only affect the economic activities of the people but also crippled their social life. As a result, this paper assesses the causes of piracy; which are illegal arms importation, unemployment and poverty. Other factors include by-catch, sponsorship and greed. It also discusses the adverse effects on the coastal people of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole. The negative effects of sea piracy include; loss of lives, damage of fishing gears, rape, hijack of both local and foreign vessels. As panacea, the government needs to reorganize the security structure and advance in intelligence gathering to track down the activities of sea pirates and illegal arms smugglers as well as create employment to reduce the numbers of restive youths.
Keywords: : sea piracy, by-catch, coastal areas, waterways hijack