Speaking yesterday on behalf of artisanal fishermen, Secretary of Twendekazi Cooperative Association in Mafia district, Twaa Ismail said that there is a need to provide training to them because right now there are so many youths who have completed Standard Seven and have decided to embark on fishing activities but they don’t understand what is required before venturing in the fishing sector.
Although they have fishing licenses to catch fish in the sea, they are not knowledgeable on fisheries law and regulations, they operate their fishing activities unprofessionally.
The training will help them to benefit from what they catch, create employment for them and operate their work more effectively.
“The fisheries department can visit us at least one week to talk to them and see the main challenges they have, what they need and provide training for them to help new artisanal fishermen understand what is required in fishing sector.” he noted.
“Don’t arrest fishermen who are fishing illegally in the sea, train them first and if they will fail to comply with the regulations, then arrest them,” he noted.
Fishermen also called upon the ministry to help them get modern fishing boat that in turn will help them operate profitably hence attract more youths to join in the business.
The modern boat will help them to boost fisheries development and help them use high quality boats designed for offshore fishing activities.
“Without a modern fishing boat, we will continue to be poor,” he noted.
He said the majority of fishermen in Mafia still use traditional fishing boats that are very small and unsafe for their life, catch small fish which cannot help them to improve their income hence their economic situation remains poor.
For his part, Mafia District Fisheries Officer, Ayoub Sabu said currently the island district has 5,133 fishermen and 1,011 fishing vessels that comprise modern boats and traditional canoes. Sabu said the fishermen are allowed to go and operate anywhere in the country with their licenses as regulations apply evenly.
“Right now no fisherman will be prohibited to fish anywhere they want in the country,” he noted while advising the artisanal fishermen to use the opportunity to exploit the over 1,000 kilometres Indian Ocean coastline from Tanga to Mtwara.