Our visit to Epe brings to light the lucrative business of fishing in that axis by fishermen. Correspondent Ruth King brings more on their activities their pains and gain in the major business Epe indigenous people are know for.
Epe is an ancient town and local government area in Lagos state, located on the north side of the Lekki Lagoon. At the 2006 census the population of Epe was 181,409. It has a road connection to Ijebu ode and Ikorodu, Epe was established by the mid 18th century as chief port of slaves, cloths and agriculture produce. It will interest you to know that Epe is the collection point for the export of fish, cassava, corn, green vegetables, coconut, cocoa, palm produce, rubber and firewoods.
Epe indigenes are serviced by secondary schools, several hospitals and health centres and it major business which is fishing. Investigation shows that for many years now Lagos residents and visitors from out the state come to Epe to get fresh fish in different sizes. The fresh fishes are caught from rivers surrounding Epe.
If you savour the taste of fresh fish, there are two major markets in Epe where you can buy from. Oluwo market is located around ‘chief’ area, and they have a lot of visitors, especially on weekends, a good spread of fresh fish you will get good discounts on any item purchased from this market. Ayetoro market is also another area in Epe where you can buy fresh. It’s at the beginning of Lagos road. Some traders who attributed their patronage on the quality of fish they get called on government support to local fishermen especially in Epe.
I manage to speak with some fishermen who set their nets and wait for fishes to be caught for sale. Some of them who spoke in local dialect Yoruba said fishing business is very lucrative and the challenge they face is when there are water hyacinth on the river and less encouragement in terms of getting good canoes and other model fishing tools to carry out their jobs.
The Baba Oloja general of Epe division, Olusegun Daudu who serves as the overseer of all markets talk about fish business in that axis and their needed support from government. The question that comes to mind is what effort is the state government putting in place to encourage fishing in that axis in the face of recession and increasing employment opportunities, a member representing Epe constituency two at the Lagos state, Mr. Olusegun Olulade speaks.
Some fish Marchant who bare their mind on their activities in market like Olowo fish market the fish traders speak on their loss from the impact of water hyacinth in the area. Also one may wonder what the Lagos State government is doing about containing the impact of water hyacinth on fishing communities like Epe, the managing director Lagos state water ways authority, Mrs Abisola Kamson has thus to say.
Fish according to research is a food of nutritional value providing high quality of protein and vitamin which shows the love of fish by customers in Olowo and Aiyetoro fish market in Epe. It is hopefully that the state government beam it’s search light to Epe and other riverine areas where fishing activities takes place to encourage and support Fisher men and women to in turn boost and improve the state economy in no distant time.
By Ruth King