Olujimi Faturoti, the chairman of the Council of Fellows of Fisheries Society of Nigeria, FISON, on Thursday in Lagos said that Nigeria had a deficit of 1.9 million metric tons of national fish demand.
He also said that the society and other stakeholders were also debunking the fact that catfish was bad for consumption because of a fictitious story that it had “bad fat” content.
Mr Faturoti, who made the disclosure at news conference, said the national fish demand was about 2.7 million metric tons per annum whereas the current domestic production was estimated at 800,000 metric tons.
The theme of the conference is “Health Benefits of Eating Catfish: Debunking the Myth of Catfish Bad Fat’’.
However, Mr Faturoti said that aquaculture farming in Nigeria had greatly assisted in bridging the gap between fish demand and supply.
“In the last 20 years, fish production from aquaculture has increased from 70,000 metric tons to more than 350,000 metric tons.
“Production brought about by catfish has been responsible for over 90 percent of fish produce from aquaculture,’’ he said.
The chairman of the council of fellows of FISON said the society and other stakeholders were also debunking the fact that catfish was bad for consumption.
“The question of catfish being bad has generated a lot of concern across all stakeholders that participate in the production, distribution and consumption of catfish.
“The story of catfish being bad has taken the dimension of a myth, the story is mythical in the sense that it was invented from imaginary and fictitious perspective, basically unproved and should be regarded as false.’’
The chairman said that there was need for the tracking of aquaculture products from the producers to the consumers.
He said the initiative would prevent the abuse in the catfish production process in the country.
Mr Faturoti said the benefits of catfish included Omega 3 fatty acids that reduced the risk of coronary heart diseases and lowered cholesterol.
“It also reduces swelling and pain and lowers the risk of age related and muscular degeneration.
“Also, Vitamins D and B2, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iodine, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Potassium, all essential for healthy living are abundant in catfish.
“There are people who just want to run down the fish business down,” he said.