Plan underway to establish fishing authority

MOROGORO : THE Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries envisions establishing fishing authority in the country in response to science and technological advancement globally.

Acting Director of Fisheries in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Stephen Lukanga revealed the plan in Morogoro region on Wednesday, during a working session of stakeholders in the fishing industry to review the changes in the National Policy of 2015 and the Fisheries Act number 22 of 2003.

“We are working to establish a fishing authority that will manage fishery resources as it is in wildlife and forest resources,” Mr Lukanga noted.

He said the use of science and technology has caused the existing fisheries policies and laws to be incompatible with the ongoing changes in the world.

“We have seen the need for reviewing the policy and the law to see the gaps and address them in order for the sector to contribute immensely to the country’s economic growth,” Mr Lukanga said.

He further noted that the review of policy and legal regimes to cope with national and international standards intends to ensure fishing activities benefit the citizens and the country.

“Fishing resources benefit approximately 4.5 million people who are engaged in various jobs arising from the fishing chain in the country,” he revealed.

Mr Lukanga said the existing policies and laws do not mention the establishment of the fishing authority, hence there is a need for amendment.

“In order for the authority to be established, it should be mentioned in the fisheries policies and laws,” he insisted.

For her part, Project Coordinator in the Department of Fisheries, Ms Flora Luhanga said  currently, the contribution of the fisheries sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 1.8 per cent.

Ms Luhanga said that some of the fish products that are available for export include tilapia from Lake Victoria whose biggest market is European Union (EU) countries while fish fillets are mostly exported to Asian countries, including China.

“The sea fish that are exported most are prawns, lobsters, octopuses and crabs,” she added.

The working session that brought together the stakeholders of the fishing industry was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

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