Stay on your side of the water, govt tells fishermen

THE government yesterday told Tanzanian fishermen to conduct their activities in waters within the country’s boundaries and avoid getting into trouble with neighbouring countries.

This comes in the wake of some fishermen being held in custody in neighbouring countries after crossing borders and conduct fishing activities. “The local fishermen should fish in areas within our country, not neighbouring countries,” Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega, stated yesterday in the Parliament.

On the other hand, Mr Ulega affirmed that burning of illegal fish nets during the recent operation against illegal fishing in the country was legal, but quickly assured that the government was together with the small fishermen in developing them. Mr Ulega gave a statement in response to a question from Kojani MP, Hamad Salim Maalim (CUF).

Mr Maalimu said fishing was among priorities of driving the economy among the citizens and the nation. “How has the government organized itself in supporting small fishermen of this country for the sake of development and poverty alleviation?” he asked. The deputy minister explained that the ministry has various strategies focusing on bringing development in the fishing sector and helping the fishermen.

Among the strategies, he said, includes reviewing the fisheries sector policy Number 22 of 2003 and its regulations of 2009 to make the document align with the fisheries policy of 2015 and current changes. Other initiatives are investing in deep sea fishing by reviving the Tanzania Fishing Corporation (TAFICO), constructing fisheries harbour and purchasing two big fishing vessels in order to facilitate growth of fish processing industries in the country.

He said the government also educates fishermen on sustainable fishing and encourages aquaculture for increasing fish production in the country. In a move to address challenges facing the fishermen, he told Parliament that the ministry introduced a private sector desk which, among other things, will help the latter secure loans from financial institutions.

“The government encourages the fishermen to join cooperative societies for them to access loans that will enable them buy modern tools for fishing,” he said.

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