Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tanzania imposes stringent measures to curb declining fish stocks in Lake Victoria

As dynamite fishing is alarmingly growing and become a great threat to marine creatures in waters, Tanzania government has imposed stringent measures that would help curb with the increased phenomenon especially in Lake Victoria basin. The introduced measures have come in place at a time when many untrusted fishermen are venturing into illegal fishing activities and the outcome is that, have destroyed their breeding places an aspect that has also made the lake to have few number of fish species. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries William Tate Olenasha said in an exclusive interview early this week in Dar es Salaam that, “the already imposed measures by the government would also help conserve the biodiversity along the Lake shores”. He named the alternative measures as effective strengthening of the surveillances in surface waters and monitoring control in order to promote aquaculture, the ministry has set minimum size of fishing gears to be used by fishermen as recommended by experts. These include gillnets with minimum of six inches. Other measures he mentioned are strengthening collaborative fisheries management measures as well as conduct regular MCS operations. Two years ago, Tanzania government decided to impose a six- month annual finishing ban in Lake Victoria with a view to raise Nile perch stocks an aspect that rendered a blow  of 200,000 fishermen who directly benefit from fishing activities from Lake Victoria. But the government said it was seeking a go ahead from other East African Community (EAC) member states before the ban implemented and wanted Kenya and Uganda which shares with the lake with Tanzania to consider taking similar step. The then EU Head of Delegation to Tanzania and the East Africa Community (EAC), Ambassador Filiberto Sebregondi said the ban would reduce the national earnings generated from the Nile perch to the EU market which is the biggest market for the products. Mr Sebregondi further said the decision would also force hundreds of fish processing plants around the lake to review their business and lack of long-term measures to sustain the fisheries stocks puts the viability of the sector and thousands of residents who depend of the Nile perch as a source of protein to switch to carbohydrates diet. Early this week, the Ugandan government proposed the idea of closing fishing activities taking place in Lake Victoria for some time to allow fish stocks replenish. According to the Ugandan government, the military has been appointed to take charge of all the country’s waters for this purpose.

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