TANZANIA has recorded a sudden rise in fish stocks due to increased exploitation of the resource using both traditional and modern methods in the past decade, becoming among the best producers of marine resource in Africa.
Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Director of Aquaculture, Dr Nazael Madalla made the remarks in Dar es Salaam over the weekend during a meeting with news editors from various media houses.
Dr Madalla said fish production has been increasing in the past few years, mostly due to fish farming, as the number of fishermen has also increased.
The fishing industry contributed 2.2 per cent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product in 2017, ministry figures show.
He said fish farming has increased from 14,800 tonnes in 2017/18 to 16,288 tonnes in 2018/19 fiscal years. He further said aquatic organisms have increased from 24,302 tonnes to 26,474, fishponds increased from 24,302 to 26,445 in the same period.
“During the same period, more than 319 tons of feed supply was produced by local industries and 811 tons were imported,” he noted .
According to him, fingerlings fish has also increased from 15,119,757 tons to 18,612,150 tons, which included prawns 11,080,000 tons, catfish 2,561,076 tons and tilapia 7,532,150 tons.
The Fisheries Annual Statistics Report–2013 published on May 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries shows that fish production reached 367,854 metric tons in 2013, increasing only by 4.7 per cent or 16,729 metric tons in the decade 2003-2013.
On the success attained by the ministry, he said the private sector desk has empowered eight aquaculture farmers who obtained loans from Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank (TADB), worth 38.5bn/-.
Expounding further, he said Tanzania has considerable potential for increasing the contribution of aquaculture, given the extensive lake and river water resources, ideal temperatures and availability of raw materials for feed.