Mpina orders removal of seized fishing vessel from Mtwara port

15Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Mtwara
The Guardian
Mpina orders removal of seized fishing vessel from Mtwara port

THE Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina has directed the owner of the fishing trawler ‘Buah Naga 1’ that was seized for illegal fishing in national waters of the Indian Ocean to immediately move it from Mtwara Port to give room for other activities at the port as the court-

Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina

-had already given its ruling on the matter.

Speaking immediately after he visited the ship owned by a Malaysian national, Mpina said the seizure of the trawler and for the court to mete out a 20 years jail sentence or payment of 1bn/- is enough proof that the government is serious in protecting its resources including those in the sea,.

He said the fishing trawler was the second to be seized in the Indian Ocean whereas in 2009 another trawler ‘Tawariq 1’ was seized by the then Minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries Dr John Magufuli as it was conducting illegal fishing in Tanzania waters.

He said after Dr Magufuli seized the trawler, ten years passed before another ship was seized when he is president showing that Tanzania refuses to let anyone come to fish in its waters.

He said the punishment meted out by the court should be a lesson and a serious message for owners of other fishing vessels to conduct their activities by abiding by the country’s laws.

In December 2018 the High Court in Mtwara gave judgment on three people including two foreign national and one Tanzanian to serve 20 years in jail or 1bn/- fine after they were found guilty of fishing in Tanzania waters.

They were arrested during “NMATT Operation’ conducted by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in collaboration with other state owned vessels with 90kgs of sharks fins without its bodies in contravention with the laws and were fined 770m/- on the spot without going to court. However they went to court to oppose the fine.

The Judgment given by High Court Judge Mtwara Zone, Lilian Mashaka saw the accused pleading to the offense and they were fined accordingly.

Judge Mashaka mentioned the accused as ship’s Captain Han Ming Chuan, Chinese national, owner of the vessel Dato Seri Lee, Malaysian national and Abubakar Salum, the ship’s agent, a Tanzanian national.

In the case, No 2 of 2008 the Government was represented by Principal State Attorney Peter Maugo, Senior State Attorney Ladislaus Komanya and State Attorney Wankyo Simon.

The High Court ordered the ship and the fish be returned to owners and the shark’s fins be destroyed by fire.