IMPLEMENTATION of the blue economy sector has received a mega boost, following the official launch of a master plan for technical assistance to develop the fisheries sector in Tanzania.

The robust plan that was launched on Tuesday by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa will be implemented in a period of 15 years from 2021/22 to 2036/37.

The launch of the much awaited plan stands as a clear testimony of the continued efforts by the government to improve contribution of the blue economy to national and individual level.

Speaking during the event, Mr Majaliwa said the government is taking all the measures to ensure that the contribution of the fishing sector to the national economy hits 10 per cent by 2037, up from the current 1.8 per cent.

He added that the just launched master plan has a vital role to play in the fishing sector and growth of the blue economy.

“The government has clear determinations to ensure all people are benefiting from this valuable sector that brings potential at individual and national level,” he said.

According to him, the launched programme is in line with the vision of the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan on the fishing sector, adding that the government is open to receive all the suggestions that will land the docket to the next level.

He said putting in place a number of strategies and plans will enable proper protection of marine resources for sustainable use as a result of creating employment and guarantee availability of nutritious food.

He said sustainable use of the marine resources depends highly on proper supervision in the fishing sector at large.

“Proper execution of the plan will serve as a catalyst for growth of the fishing sector and increase the number of fish and sea products that are up for harvest, processing and export,” he noted.

Adding; “It will play a role in improving the harvest in the marine sector to 639,092 tonnes, up from the current 473,592 tonnes, being an increase of 35 per cent”.

Expounding, Mr Majaliwa tasked the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to work closely with stakeholders from the public and private sector on ensuring effective implementation of the plan for sustainable development.

Earlier, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mashimba Ndaki said the programme aims to benefit all players in the sector.

“The focus is to attract more investment from the private sector,” he said, assuring that the ministry will provide all the support to whoever wants to invest in fishing.

The ministry plans to improve supervision of resources and investment on the sea economic zone, ensuring that there is supervision and control of the quality of fish produced in the country, as well as putting up proper infrastructure for fisheries and boosting fishing business in the country.

For his part, Board Chairman of the Tanzania Fishing Corporation (Tafico), Prof Yunus Mgaya said they are aiming at attracting investors in the blue economy.

The project was being implemented in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

In its National Five Year Development Plan (FYDP III), the government has put in place plans to transform the fisheries sector by applying modern approaches.

The plan includes intensification of the blue economy potentials in both marine and fresh waters.

“Sector priorities include freshwater fishing, sea and deep-sea fishing, aquaculture, marine and freshwater conservation,” reads part of the plan.

Also, the government is looking forward to strengthening fisheries institutional capacity, including revival of Tafico, supporting the private sector to establish and rehabilitate fishing industries as well as conserving marine and freshwater fisheries protected areas.

Moreover, the plan will consider protection of critical habitats and conservation of endangered and threatened aquatic species, support investment in fisheries and aquaculture infrastructure and facilities, including promotion of commercial aquaculture production.

The government will also ensure access to capital, expertise, skills and knowledge and fishing gear to small-scale fishermen and women through their respective social groups.

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