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Dar, Lisbon for stronger ties in blue economy

Dar, Lisbon for stronger ties in blue economy

TANZANIA and Portugal are looking forward to strengthening the cooperation in the blue economy by exploiting the available resources from the marine sector.

This was unveiled yesterday when the Vice-President Dr Phillip Mpango met the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Portugal State House in Lisbon.

Dr Mpango is in that country, where he was representing President Samia in the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference held in Lisbon.

The conference was intended to motivate efforts by nations in implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, which calls for conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.

During their talks, the duo expressed the need for cooperation in exploring opportunities in the blue economy given the success that have been attained so far by Portugal.

The Vice-President informed the Portuguese head of Tanzania’s determination to utilise economic opportunities in the marine sector.

“Tanzania boasts of a long coastal zone of about 1,450 kilometres and the unique economic zone reaching 223,000 square kilometres.

This will make our cooperation meaningful,” said the Vice-President.

He also explained that, in a move to ensure productivity in the blue economy, Tanzania will construct fishing ports along the Indian Ocean, lake Victoria and Tanganyika.

According to him, all these are part of strategies to increase revenue and collections from the maritime resources.

For his part, President De Sousa said his government is ready to work with Tanzania on building the fishing ports that will help the latter in strengthening its economy further.

He also assured the commitment of his government to work together with Tanzania on improving the blue economy sector as well as boosting business and investment.

Addressing the UN Ocean Conference on Monday, Dr Mpango said Tanzania has taken several measures, including crafting policies, plans and strategies for controlling environmental pollution.

He said among the steps taken by the Tanzanian government include a total ban of plastic bags and introducing legislation governing marine resources and coastal areas.

The VP stated that the government has also continued carrying out various projects relating to management, protection, conservation and restoration of ocean ecology.

The measures, he said, include setting aside 6.5 per cent of the Indian Ocean for a conserved area of the Ocean, controlling illegal fishing by almost 99 per cent and strengthening management and monitoring of fisheries activities in the deep sea.

Dr Mpango also mentioned that Tanzania has an area of about 64,000 square kilometres covered with water, a situation which makes the country rich in biodiversity and with the huge potential of a blue economy which supports lives of millions of people through assuring food security and offering means of transport.

The Vice-President on the other hand, asked members of the international community to ensure that huge investment is done on science, innovation and partnership when finding solutions to challenges facing the Ocean.

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

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