Fish fillets processors in imminent closure for lack of fish

24Jun 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Mwanza
The Guardian
Fish fillets processors in imminent closure for lack of fish

SOME investors in fish processing industry in the city of Mwanza are in danger of closing down their businesses due to lack of adequate raw materials including high prices of fish.

They are concerned that it has been difficult for them to attain their set targets of industrial production as well as getting enough fish for processing.

They further said that foreign demand for fish fillets has been increasing daily with the market demand for fish growing, but they are experiencing difficulties in getting the fish.

One of the investors, Satuh Poojery of GMG Group said the investors were ready to produce fish fillets in huge quantities to meet the foreign demand, but, he said some of them lack raw materials.

He said fishermen have been selling them fish at high prices which have resulted in some processors failing to compete in the international markets.

The Manager of Pesca Perch Ltd fish factory, Suresh Yonse said they have finished construction of their factory but they find it hard to get the fish for processing because of the high prices.

Speaking here at the weekend at a stakeholders meeting involving officials from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and investors, Tanzania Fishers Union (TAFU) Spokesman, Sijaona Karoli linked the high prices of fish with the high levies charged on fishermen.

He also said that levies prompt fishermen to smuggle fish outside the country, adding that owners of fish factories were also to blame for delay in paying fishermen for the fish delivered.

Karoli said another challenge plaguing fishermen is lack of bank loans as many banks refuse to loan them thereby making many of them fail to enhance their capitals to boost fishing activities in Lake Victoria.

He added that the 2003 Fishing Act and its 2020 Regulations have hit the fisherman hard through the 2 per cent levy on their incomes.

He appealed to the government to amend the law to provide relief to the fishermen to enable them expand their businesses.

In order to increase Lake Victoria’s fish stocks, Karoli advised the government to embark in the production of fish fingerlings for the tilapia (sato), ‘kamongo’, ‘mumi’ and ‘furu’ outside the lake and them implant them into the lake to be food for the Nile perch (sangara).

Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting, TIC Lake Zone Manager Pendo Gondwe urged for assistance to small entrepreneurs.

In regard to the fish levy, Pendo said he will make sure to refer the issue to concerned government institutions to see how to solve the issue for the benefit of both sides.

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