Economy, Forestry and Fishing
obeche, Nile perch, Lake Chad, Niger Delta, iroko
The bulk of Nigeria’s forest production is fuelwood, consumed either as wood or as charcoal. In 2000 fuelwood production was 91 million cubic meters (3.2 billion cubic feet), harvested mostly near dense urban areas. By contrast, annual lumber production—mostly hardwoods such as mahogany, iroko, and obeche—averaged 2 million cubic meters (71 million cubic feet), almost all from the tropical forest zone. Consequently, Nigeria, once a significant exporter of timber, is a net importer. Ongoing, rapid deforestation makes it unlikely the situation will improve appreciably.
Nigeria’s 1997 fish catch was 383,400 metric tons live. Slightly less than half the catch was from inland waters, mainly Lake Chad, the Niger Delta, and Kainji Lake. Various species of catfishes, tilapias, and Nile perch, among others, are harvested using small-scale and traditional methods. Sardinellas, bonga shad, and shrimp are harvested from the Atlantic Ocean. In 1975 the government established the Nigerian National Fish Company to enter into joint fishing ventures with foreign companies. Most of Nigeria’s 293 vessels larger than 100 gross registered tons are concentrated inshore; deep-sea fishing is still dominated by foreign boats.
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