Major fish processing plant to stimulate blue economy

THE Deep Sea Fishing Authority (DSFA) in collaboration with a Spain deep Sea Fishing Company expects to build a large fish processing factory in the country in order to promote the development of the blue economy.

Speaking to journalists in Dodoma on Thursday , DSFA Managing Director, Dr Emmanuel Sweke said the factory is expected to be built in Tanga at approximately 10 million US dollars, equivalent to 3.4bn/-.

He said that once the factory will be completed, approximately 100 to 200 tonnes of fish will be processed per day and provide employment to about 100 Tanzanians to begin with.

“This Spain fishing company also has been registered in Zanzibar Marine Authority and practicing fishing activities in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It is also providing about 920m/- to the government every year as an economic compensation and it has agreed to employ 10 Tanzanians in their vessel as well as train two Tanzanians in the level of vessel Captains,” said Dr Sweke.

He further noted that in order to ensure that the aspirations and goals of the blue economy are achieved, the government is continuing with the construction of the Kilwa Market Port, where it has already provided 50bn/- and the contractor is already on site continuing with the work.

In addition, Dr Sweke said the government continues to make efforts to reduce the operating costs of the deep-sea fishing so as to increase the number of fishing vessels that will increase the contribution of DSFA’s in the national income through registration and license fees.

He said that in the period from July 2022 to January 2023, the Authority has collected 4.1bn/- from license fees and expects to gather a larger amount by June this year as they expect to increase license registration from 36 fishing vessel licenses to 50.

“We have submitted a draft document to the government seeking to reduce registration and Licenses of fishing vessel fees to help in the increase of the number of vessels as well as provide opportunities for Tanzanians to participate in the deep-sea fishing economic activity,” he said.

“At the moment, the cost of getting the license for foreign long line fishing vessels is 70 US dollars and 21 US dollars for domestic fishing vessels. But, ordinary foreign fishing vessels license costs 50 US dollars and for domestic ordinary fishing vessel, it costs 8,000 US dollars,” he added.

Elaborating, DSFA Managing Director argued that there was already a big discount for domestic deep-sea fishers, despite the operating costs of the ships being high, including the cost of fuel, maintenance and payment of workers.

“This is why we have sent the request to help local businessmen to enter these businesses competitively,” explained Dr Sweke.

In his address, he noted further that in order to ensure that the deep-sea fishing area is safe, the Authority uses technological systems to monitor all the deep-sea fishing vessels in the world, registered deep sea vessels in the country and foreign ones that have been registered to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area.

“We use Automatic Identification system, vessel monitoring system as well as aerial and water surveillance to prevent illegal fishing and other contrabands to ensure that this area is safe,” he said.

Dr Sweke said that such inspections are carried out by the authority in collaboration with other security and defense agencies in the country such as NAVY, Water Police, TRA and Immigration.

“In order to ensure calm and smooth operation of fishing activities in this area, we also have two important people who help us-these are inspectors who board the vessels to check out and make sure that they comply with the laws,” he pointed out.

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