Operation to stop illegal fishing helps boost government coffers

12Dec 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
Financial Times
Operation to stop illegal fishing helps boost government coffers

AN operation to tame illegal fishing in the country’s water bodies has boosted government revenue earnings by about 2.2 billion/- between December 2017 and last month - an enormous increase from the previous annual average of 457 million/-,-

according to the deputy minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega.

 

Speaking at a meeting to review the third phase of ‘Operesheni Sangara’ aimed at curbing illegal fishing in the country in Mwanza recently, Ulega said:

“In 2017 we gained 457 million/- in royalties from fishing activities but by last month, we have managed to collect 2.29 billion/- in royalties in 11 months. From this you can easily see that we have recorded an increase of more than 200 per cent”.

He asserted that the operation has helped the government to realise income which would otherwise have gone to individuals.

In the meeting also attended by various fishing industry stakeholders, Ulega cited official data showing that fish stocks and sizes started to improve after the start of the operation.

Presenting a report on the progress of the operation, a senior fisheries officer in the Lake Victoria Zone, Didas Mtambalike, said as of December 1 this year, a total of 1.172 billion/- had been collected as fines from illegal fishing culprits netted during Operesheni Sangara.

According to Mtambalike, the operation has also enabled proper registration of many fishing vessels and fishing gear businesses as a result of a widespread public education campaign.

Several participants at the meeting called on the government to introduce a system of indicative prices for fishing products to enable fishermen benefit from their activities.

They also asked deputy minister Ulega to seek a review of the government’s the decision to ban the use of solar lanterns for sardine fishing. Ulega said their requests would be worked upon.

Operesheni Sangara has been conducted in Singida, Sengerema, Ukerewe, Simiyu, Mwanza, Kagera, Geita and Mara in the Lake Victoria Zone.

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