Monday, May 21, 2018

How Sangara campaign has brought changes in fisheries sector

The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries , Mr Luhaga Mpina has said that a total of Tshs. 1.7 billion has been collected as fine from 1,434 illegal fishermen who had been apprehended under the operation dubbed ‘Sangara’ and  charged in various courts in the country. The operation which had been initiated by the ministry two years ago, aims at protecting marine creatures in lakes, rivers as well as in Indian Ocean. Under the Sangara operation, the government launched a task force which has been working on strengthening security patrols against illegal fishing in lakes and rivers and along regions bordering the Indian Ocean to the east of the country. More efforts has been intensified in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. He said under the operation about 12, 217 tones of fish and other marine creatures have been saved and numerous numbers of uncountable illegal fishing gears have been destroyed. The Minister said in Dar es Salaam last week and made the appeal to the general public to be cooperative enough in order to make the operation successful. He has however, asked the good Samaritans to report to his office and other security agents such as the police once they see executives who are directly involved in this malpractices as this is a threat to marine park and will remain a sustainable program. In November last year,  

President John Magufuli intensified the fight against illegal fishing in Lake Victoria, which is shared by three East African countries: Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in a public rally at Mwatex factory, Nyakato area in the lake zone region of Mwanza, Magufuli urged fishermen to refrain from using chemicals, which he said pose a serious threat to fish stock by killing immature fish. Magufuli said there used to be various fish factories in Mwanza, but most of them collapsed amid shortage of raw materials, saying it is time for the residents to protect Lake Victoria for the betterment of their the current and future generations. A 2012 study by SmartFish said the decline of Nile perch stocks suggest that fisheries departments in all the three countries sharing Lake Victoria were allowing illegal unreported and unregulated fishing to continue thriving. The study found that the total biomass of Nile perch decreased from 1.4 million tonnes (92 percent of total biomass in Lake Victoria) in 1999 to its lowest recorded estimate of 298,394 tonnes in 2008 (14.9 percent of total biomass ). As of 2010, the Nile perch biomass was estimated at 18 percent of the total biomass in Lake Victoria. In addition, the study noted a marked increase in the number of illegal gear being deployed to target under-size fish.  The number of fishing vessels, for instance, increased by 37 percent between 2000 and 2008 while the use of fishing motorboats increased by approximately 50 percent.

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