Z’bar, Mainland intensify fight against maritime crimes

THE fight against maritime crimes such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Tanzania’s sea waters may now become well-coordinated following the signing of an agreement between maritime authorities in Zanzibar and the Union government.

Marine researchers and scientists say that one of the biggest challenges facing the global ocean is IUU fishing and that operating outside the constraints of laws, quotas and licences, IUU vessels commonly overfish, trawl in protected waters and take protected species.

The available global data shows that IUU fishing contributes between 15-30 percent of the kilograms of fish caught in the world per year, which affects the economies by approximately 23.5 billion US dollars   per year, and also affects the sustainability of many commercial fisheries, contributes to shortage of food and nutrition and even endangers millions of jobs.

The Permanent Secretary – Isles Ministry of Infrastructure, Communication and Transport Ms Khadija Khamis Rajab officiated and witnessed the signing of the collaboration agreement that will help strengthen measures to control illegal activities in Zanzibar and Tanzania waters.

Senior executives who signed the documents were from the Deep-Sea Fishing Authority (DSFA), Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC), Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA), Zanzibar Port Corporation (ZPC), and Tanzania Port Authority (TPA).

“This is a very important event for our nation. Based on laws and regulations, each authority/institution in the agreement has a great role to play. However, sea crime such as the issue of illegal fishing affects us all,” the PS said.

She said the main mission of the collaboration is to have coordination and joint decisions for the management of Tanzanian and foreign fishing vessels that request to use our ports for various services.

Ms Khadija argues that “it is a fact that DSFA or any other institution alone in the country or in the world cannot succeed in this difficult battle to control IUU, “Thus, cooperation remains crucial.”

She pointed out that, the  agreement was additional to the International Agreement to Prevent Illegal Fishing through Ports (Port State Measures Agreement – PSMA) approved by the Union Parliament in November, 2019.

The objective of PSMA is to prevent, fade, and eliminate illegal fishing by preventing vessels involved in illegal fishing from using the port to unload fish.

Basically, this agreement reduces the opportunity of these ships to continue fishing illegally and also prevent the products from illegal fishing from reaching the national, regional and international markets.

“I would like to commend the DSFA, TPA, TASAC, ZMA and ZPC for having a sincere commitment to fight against unreported and unregulated illegal fishing. This is something that can be modeled by other institutions in the country, especially in matters affecting our two sides of the Union,” Khadija explained.

On behalf of the signatories, Dr Saleh Omar promised to implement the agreement, and thanked both the Union and Zanzibar for allowing the collaboration which also aims at improving efficiency.

Related Articles

Back to top button