The Limbe Nautical Arts and Fisheries Institute (LINAFI) has produced 137 fishing experts in two promotions to reverse capital flight in sea food importation.
Experts of the field have confirmed that by 2015, fishing along Cameroon’s South West offshores in the Atlantic Ocean was over 90 percent dominated by foreigners. The situation bled an estimated colossal sum of FCFA 100 Billion from Cameroon importing sea food yearly.
Such foreigners exploiting Cameroon waters include sea farers from China, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. They are known in the various fishing pots of the Bakassi Peninsula, Ekondo Titi and Mundemba in Ndian Administrative Division, the shores of Limbe, Idenau in Fako, as well as Mbonge in Meme.
The myth was broken in 2016 when the Head of State created a professional school to train fishermen and women who can man the sector and create jobs, boost the economy and secure sea protein food for Cameroonians. The fishing school named Limbe Nautical Arts And Fisheries Institute (LINAFI) had its first intake in the 2017-2018 academic year and has since then trained 137 nationals in fishing technologies.
With five permanent teachers, LINAFI, the Wovia-Limbe-based Fisheries Institution, employs many part-timers to fulfil their mission of developing the fisheries sector. The empowerment of nationals in the fishing domain has fiddled out capital flight and ensured food sufficiency. It was also astonishing that the coastal population of Cameroon did not muster much interest in fishing like in the neighbouring countries. Where there were attempts to fish on the Cameroon coast, the local population simply stood by the corner of the sea and threw small hooks to catch the smallest species which went directly into their cooking pots.
The situation is bound to change with effective fishing training organized by LINAFI. A major outcome of the training will also be to cultivate interest in the fishing industry with sufficient financing. The training is a shift from rudimental methods to standard and industrialised ventures that transform fishing into an economic boom.
That is why admission into the fishery school requires a solid background in education with at least the Advanced Level certificate in the Sciences. The school has a standard equipped marine science laboratory and two new sea fishing vessels for practical lessons. Otherwise, the Institute offers continuous courses for professionals already on the field.