Z’bar blue economy pays off as fish catch doubles

ZANZIBAR : ZANZIBAR has recorded a remarkable increase in fish catch, with numbers rising from 38,107 tonnes in 2020 to 80,000 tonnes this year, according to the Minister of Blue Economy and Fisheries, Mr Suleiman Masoud Makame.

Speaking about achievements made under the ministry, Minister Makame told the press conference that the revenue from fish catch has also increased from 205.4bn/- in 2020 to 569.08bn/- this year. “Thanks to President Hussein Ali Mwinyi for his initiatives,” he said.

“The fish production by small fishers and the value of the catch have both climbed.” He said that the contribution of the fisheries sector to the GDP has increased from 4.5 per cent in 2020 to 6.32 per cent in 2022.

He also mentioned that the sector, which has more than 50,000 fishers, has been growing at a rate of nine per cent annually.

He explained that deep-sea fishing was not productive before 2021.

However, due to reforms and an improved investment environment initiated by both President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dr Mwinyi, they have attracted and registered over 100 deep-sea fishing vessels.

These vessels have caught more than four thousand tuna fish. Additionally, they have entered into an agreement with Al- Bakora international deep- sea fishing company.

The seaweed farming and aquaculture industry has employed over 23,000 people, the majority of whom are women.

He mentioned that there has been significant progress in seaweed production, with an increase from 8,785 tonnes val- ued at 5.38bn/- in 2020 to 16,653 tonnes worth 16.35bn/- in 2023. Additionally, seaweed exports have risen from 11,382 tonnes in 2020 to 12,563 tonnes this year.

The minister informed journalists that the con- struction of a seaweed processing factory in Chamanangwe, Pemba, is a significant milestone in the crop’s development.

“More than 8.5bn/- has been spent on constructing the factory, which has an average annual process- ing capacity of 30,000 tonnes,” he said.

He also mentioned that the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is funding the construction of another factory to process products from entrepreneurs and aquaculture farmers.

Mr Makame stated that when President Mwinyi began his regime in 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, there was only one project in fisheries and marine resources worth 10bn/-.

Currently, there are 17 projects valued at 227.5bn/-.

He mentioned that this increase in projects is commendable and is a re- sult of the efforts made by the two top leaders, President Samia and President Mwinyi.

The projects managed by the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries include fishing, seaweed farming, aquaculture (farming of sea cucumber), fish markets and docking areas, marine conservation, research and oil and natural gas exploration.

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