New research reveals presence of wheal fishes in Tanzania’s Indian

23Apr 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
New research reveals presence of wheal fishes in Tanzania’s Indian
  • New research reveals presence of wheal fishes in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean waters

A new marine study conducted in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean waters has revealed the presence of wheal fishes, a rare species of fish in the world.

The research findings which are yet to be released officially were hinted to the chief secretary, Ambassador John Kijazi who tasked the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to wisely use the findings once released to improve the fisheries sector.

Kijazi said the current data on the amount of fish and its species would stimulate construction of fish processing industries needed to spearhead the country’s industrialization drive.

Kijazi was speaking when he received a marine research vessel RV Dr Fridtjof Nansen, which is owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

He thanked President John Pombe Magufuli for successfully negotiating for the vessel when the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva visited the east African nation in September, 2017.

Kijazi noted that the statistics on the amount of fish would help to improve systems for sustainable fishing as well as motivate and encourage investors in fish processing industries to work towards the country's industrialization drive.

Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina, said that the preliminary report had come at the right time when the government was working on transforming the fisheries sector.

Mpina said whereas the country’s fishing sector employs an average of ten million people, the industry still needs to do a lot to meet the target of producing 750,000 tonnes of fish annually. Currently he said the country only meets 50,000 tonnes.

The Minister cited illegal fishing as a menace thwarting country's fisheries sector.

FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, said the new development was expected to boost investment in fish processing industries in the country, and thus facilitate industrialisation.

The received vessel had concluded a two-week long research on fishery resources and ecosystem on the part of Tanzania’s waters of the Indian Ocean.

The vessel was conducting survey with the objective of collecting data on distribution and abundance of fish stocks, biodiversity, environment conditions, occurrence of micro plastics, using cutting-edge technology and sophisticated equipment to help the country assemble scientific data critical to sustainable fisheries management and study how changing climate is affecting the ocean. The survey was conducted under the (EAF)-Nansen Programme funded by Norway and executed by FAO.