Ministry, TADB provide soft loans for purchasing fishing vessels

DODOMA: LIVESTOCK and Fisheries Ministry in collaboration with the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has started a special programme to issue special programme to issue soft loans for purchasing fishing vessels and other fishing gears to shy away with illegal fishing.

Under the programme, the ministry has started by issuing 55 boats worth 2.6bn/- to boost the fisheries sector and fully unleash its potential in Lake Victoria.

Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Alexander Mnyeti said in the National Assembly yesterday when responding to Mr Robert Maboto (Bunda-CCM), who wanted to know government plans to address illegal fishing challenges in Lake Victoria.

Mr Mnyeti said the government is committed to end illegal fishing challenges countrywide, thus it has started a special entity, which will be tasked to manage marine resources including in Lake Victoria.

The entity will also be tasked to control illegal fishing and as well to ensure marine resources are sustainable for future generations.

Moreover, he said, the government also initiated a special programme to promote cage fishing whereas more than 222 cages have been issued for fishers in Lake Victoria zone.

Recently, President Samia Suluhu Hassan envisioned cage fishing to create more jobs for Tanzania in fishing communities, increase revenue whilst conserving marine resources.

President Samia handed out about 222 fishing cages and 55 boats to fishers in an effort to upgrade efficiency in the Lake Victoria regions, including Mwanza, Mara and Kagera.

Fishermen praised the government’s initiative to develop the fishing industry by providing the latest equipment to fishers.

The equipment, provided through soft loans, will mitigate the persisting problem of illegal fishing, which currently threatens the sustainability of the sector by netting small fish below 50 centimetres.

The cage fishing system will bring smiles to the entire fishing sector within two years. It should be maintained for the country’s fishing revolution.

The cage system, which is mostly applied to tilapia, will cater to the local market and increase the volume of Nile Perch fillet exports.

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