In the Cabinet list he unveiled on Thursday, Dr Mwinyi named Abdallah Hussein Kombo as Blue Economy and Fisheries minister.
Speaking to The Guardian here yesterday, Association for the Welfare of Fishers chairman Omar Muhammed Ali called on the minister and his team of experts to reach out to those engaged in fishing through their organisations and work together towards unlocking the sector’s potential of the sector.
“We have issues that need to be ironed out; chief among them being contentious clauses in the Fisheries Act of 2010 especially sections that prohibit certain fishing gears,” he said.
Ali said fishers are ready to work with the ministry by obeying the laws but said the laws should not make it impossible for thousands working in the sector to earn a living.
“I suggest that we have regular meetings to discuss challenges and chart the way forward together. Creation of this ministry is an opportunity to change our lives for the better,” he said.
Semeni Muhammed, secretary of Zanzibar Association for Organic Farmers rearing edible millipedes on the shore expressed hope that the ministry will help farmers improve their skills and help with storage and cooling facilities.
“The market is there; the demand is bigger than the supply. We cannot satisfy the China market alone. We just need to increase production,” she said.
Muhammed Khamis Mwamvura, Information and Communication Technology officer from the Deep Sea Fishing Authority said the docket is a parent ministry that will coordinate cross-cutting issues handled by other ministries but have something to do with blue economy such as tourism.
“The Union government plans to buy eight deep sea fishing vessels and four will be brought to Zanzibar; plans are also underway to build fish processing industries here. Things will definitely change for the better,” he said.
Retired President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein told the 10th Zanzibar Business Forum in March that as part implementation of blue economy strategy, three new ports had been lined up for construction, namely at the Mpigaduri passenger terminal area, the oil and gas terminal at Mangapwani and the fishery port at Malindi.
The recently revamped Zanzibar Fishing Corporation (ZAFICO) was tasked with modernizing fishing by deploying equipment that can operate in deep sea, plus conducting sale of the catch.
A new fishing boat was procured with another under construction, meanwhile as an improved fish market was being built, with these development likely to attract more tourists, he stated.
Implementation of the blue economy vision will be overseen by the Zanzibar Planning Commission, the former Isles president had declared.