Govt and FAO keen on Lake Tanganyika fish value chain

07Dec 2021
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
Govt and FAO keen on Lake Tanganyika fish value chain

​​​​​​​The government has called on stakeholders to support research in the Tanzania exclusive economic zone and in the Lake Tanganyika to determine the number and distribution of fish.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Rashid Tamatamah opening the FISH4ACP project multistakeholders planning in Kigoma yesterday. Photo by Gerald Kitabu.

Speaking yesterday at FISH4ACP project multi stakeholders planning meeting in Kigoma, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries Dr. Rashid Tamatamah said in this financial year, the government has set aside 800m/- for conducting research, but the amount of money is very small to conduct effectively and efficient research.

He said the research will enable sustainable fishing activities that will not compromise the fish resource development.

A total of 137.056m/- out of 800m/- will be used to conduct research to determine the number of fish and in the Lake Tanganyika, he said.

“I understand that this is very small amount of money and can conduct the research in only one season, therefore, I call upon other stakeholders to support this research so that it can be conducted in two seasons,” he said.

He also outlined other initiatives being taken by the government to ensure sustainable fisheries value chain.

He said the government will build the first fishing port at a tune of 50.72bn/- at Kilwa Masoko, Lindi region.

 “At the moment the contribution of fishing industry to the DGP is small, but as indicated in the third five year development plan 2021-22-2025-26, if we effectively and efficiently implement all the plans, we expected to have fruitful contribution to the DGP,” he said.

Director General of Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) Dr. Ismael Kimirei said The FISH4ACP project is a fisheries project being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MLF). The project will concentrate on improving the value chain of Lake Tanganyika's fisheries.

FAO sub-regional Fisheries and Aquaculture

Officer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Martin Van der Knaap said a few years ago, the European Union issued a call for proposals to study in detail certain value chains of aquatic products. Out of more than 40 proposals, 12 were awarded financing, including the one for Tanzania on small pelagic fish resources, dagaa and migebuka or as they are called in neighbouring countries ndagala and mukeeke. “FAO is particularly grateful to the EU for funding this important ACP4FISH project. The same value chain will soon be studied also in Zambia,” he said.

As we know, these fish species do not only stay in Tanzanian waters as the fish do not know any boundaries between the countries and thus we have to consider the fisheries resources in a regional context. The EU is further supporting the lake’s fisheries by its project under the wider umbrella of the ECOFISH programme, he said.

FISH4ACP is one project out of multiple projects working on the lake and we have to take into account the regional initiatives. No project will be able to do it all because of the regional dimension and we need to connect the different institutions, fishers, women fish processors, Beach Management Units.

“As I said, the FISH4ACP will soon be operating in Zambia, which will further increase linkages and integration. Within the FISH4ACP project, Tanzania is at the forefront of progress within the global activities and in the course of the day we will seek your feedback on the proposed activities and request your assistance to identify possible complementary information that can help the team refine and adapt the activities to be implemented.

In Tanzania, the five year project was launched in September 2020 and it is financed by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by FAO and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (MLF).