The government is committed to protect Tanzania’s territorial waters in the Indian Ocean in a bid to boost small scale fishermen and tame illegal fishing activities by both locals and foreigners.
The move will protect the ocean environment and help fishermen reach to main ocean areas thereby increasing their income, Zanzibar minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdillah Jihad Hassan, said yesterday.
“We provide training, modern equipment to small fishermen and we’ll enable them to get access to the deep see to catch substantial quantity of fish, hence improve financial earnings,” Hassan said.
He made the observation when closing the 16th meeting of International Institute of Fisheries Economic and Trade (IIFET) held in Dar es Salaam.
According to the minister the government has ordered small scale fishermen to get such access by providing them boats and establishing fishing farms as a way of getting many fishes.
He emphasised the need for scientists and policy makers to continue having constructive interactions to consistently address problems facing fisheries sector.
Dr Harrison Charo Karisa, Director of National Agriculture Research Development and Training Center Saguo Kenya, said fisheries in East Africa are not performing well, besides challenges facing the sector.
High population increase, illegal fishing, external invaders of the ocean, poor state of water and prohibited fishing instruments are some of them, he said.
He also pointed out that the state of water is not good enough citing the example of Lake Victoria in which he said water is dirty, resulting to deaths of a big number of fishes.
The views were echoed by Prof Yunus Mgaya, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM), responsible for administration said Tanzania was facing a shortage of fisheries experts.
He said UDSM was preparing to increase the number of experts in fisheries in order to boost the growth of fisheries sector in the country.
Apart from the challenges facing fisheries sector, the meeting discussed issues ranging from wealth creation, to poverty reduction to aquaculture and to gender issues.
UDSM hosted the IIFET meeting, which was attended by participants from Asia, Africa, America and Europe.