Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Maritime Affairs


Maritime Education & Training


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Couper, Alastair D.


Nigeria, a coastal state with 853 Kilometres long coastline in the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean, occupies a strategic position both in terms of shipping activities and also economic activities related to the exploitation of marine resources. The carrier—islands/mangrove fringed coast offers splendid conditions for a variety of tropical fish species as well as crustaceans and these have provided the means of subsistence for the many coastal inhabitants. In addition to the exploitation of large deposits of aggregates offshore, the country has also been associated with hydrocarbon exploitation since the mid—1950s. Hydrocarbon resources have proved to be the country's economic mainstay in recent years. The new legal regimes of the sea imposes far greater responsibilities on coastal states for the development and management of ocean resources. This thesis examines some of the problems associated with the exploitation of ocean resources in Nigeria, and this, in the light of Nigeria's recent accession to the 1982 UN Convention on Law of the Sea. Chapter one reviews the basic hydrography and geological structure of the area while the characteristics of the fisheries as well as their development and management are discussed in chapters two and three. Chapter four looks at the specific problem of sharing the fisheries resources in Nigeria's EEZ with neighbouring countries in the Gulf of Guinea. The strategies for development and management as well as the need for cooperative conservation measures are discussed. Chapter five reviews the offshore potentials of non-living resources as well as the current management measures being applied. Multiple sea-use conditions and conflicts, especially between hydrocarbon exploitation and the fragile mangrove ecosystem, and the fisheries resources, are reviewed in chapter six while chapter seven discusses the value of law in relation to the enforcement of management measures. It also stresses the need for education of the public and also the various officials of the enforcement agencies. The growing economic interests on the ocean calls for greater understanding of the marine sciences. The status of marine scientific research in Nigeria, as well as the need to incorporate research findings in management strategies are also discussed in chapter eight. In chapter nine, a suggestion for a marine policy is provided and an attempt is made at defining-an integrated marine policy. A brief review of the countries with such integrated coastal/ocean development strategies is also provided. In conclusion requirements managerial ex exploitation , the thesis outlines the manpower for the development of the technical and expertise necessary for the effective and regulation of Nigeria's ocean space.