TANZANIA: THE Deputy Minister for Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Mr Alexander Mnyeti has warned dishonest fishery officers who are part and parcel of illegal fishing activities in Lake Tanganyika, saying their days are numbered.
He further said that his docket will never hesitate to take legal actions against them.
Mr Mnyeti was in two days working tour in Rukwa Region, where he handed over four modern fibre fishing boats valued over 295.5m/- to the locals.
The four modern fibre fishing boats are part of a large nationwide transformational strategy targeting beneficiaries from Fishing Cooperative Organisations’ (FICOs), women and youth community groups (CBOs), individuals and companies engaged in fishing activities.
In the first phase of the project 160 boats valued 11.09bn/- will be provided to fishers across the country. The boats come in different sizes, ranging from five (5) metres to 14 metres.
Mr Mnyeti said he was compelled to issue such warning following report that a Kasanga fishery in charge officer, Gasper Lugelelo is receiving more that 3m/- from fishermen from neighbouring Zambia and in turn he allowed them to conduct illegal fishing activities using monofilament fishing net on Lake Tanganyika on the side of Kalambo District.
Fishery experts recount that illegal fishing such as the use of monofilament nets, 90 watts battery and solar powered bulbs which emit intense heat radiation, harvesting fishes below six inches and the like affect the sector.
The deputy minister further said the illegal fishing activities are massively carried out at Samazi fishing camp in Kalambo District.
Other fishing camps on the list are Kampumpuli, Wampembe, Kilambo cha Mkolechi and Mpasa, in Nkasi District in the region.
Mr Mnyeti said that he will soon form a task force of experts from his docket which will be deployed to Kalambo District to investigate the illegal fishermen from neighbouring Zambia and how be method to curb illegal fishing activities on Lake Tanganyika.
Equally, the deputy minister urged fishermen to refrain from illegal fishing and instead, they should support the government’s efforts in protecting water bodies for the country to benefit more from the blue economy.
He also asked local government authorities to take strong measures in curbing leakages of revenues being collected and ensure proper supervision of development projects on various sectors.
Given the airtime a fisherman Masumbuko Vitikasi told the deputy minister that many illegal fishermen from neighbouring Zambia have ‘invaded’ and conducting illegal fishing activities at Samazi village.