MINISTRY of Livestock and Fisheries Development is undertaking massive review of its sector laws and regulations with the aim of improving the sector’s contribution to individual and the country's economy.
Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega told law makers here yesterday that one of the areas that are under review is the longtime suspended use of oxygen bait tank systems.
The deputy minister said the State resolved to suspend the use of the facilities following concern by some dishonest fishermen who went underwater with explosives in the tanks.
"This was one of the large scale illegal fishing activities," he said. He said the decision was reached after the assessment revealed that a large number of untrustworthy fishermen used the tanks to get massive catch.
As a result, the government banned the use of such oxygen cylinders, for which special permits were given for research, sport fishing and training.
"The tanks become very dangerous to ecological systems especially by butchering fingerings and breeding areas," he noted.
The deputy minister was reacting to a question by Ali Hassan King (CCM) who wanted the government to give reasons behind banning underwater fishing activities.
The lawmaker was of the view that the destruction of ecology and fish spawning grounds was done by illegal fishers using explosives.
But the government said it was reviewing its legislations and regulations and will examine whether there would be need for the tanks.
The laws under review include the Fishing Act no 22 of 2003 and its registrations of 2009. The review also include such guidelines issued by the State for ensuring a sustainable industry.
Section 66 (2) of the regulations bar use of scuba and cylinders unless special permits were issued for conducting training, sport fishing, research and decorative fish.
Meanwhile, the government said it was working to establish special facilities that would help aquaculture farming in the country.
He said some fish species such as jogoo bahari had been endangered and thus the government suspended fishing activities in the areas where such fish are found.
"I think it's high time stakeholders support such initiatives in order to increase fish farming," he said.