17 March 2012

Tanzania: Illegal Fishing Still Haunts Zanzibar

Photo: Christian Åslund /Greenpeace
Authorities are concerned that many are still violating fishing laws.

Zanzibar — DESPITE the ban on illegal fishing methods, authorities in Zanzibar are still worried that people still violate the law. Opening a one-day stakeholders' meeting on 'escalating illegal fishing,' the Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho said that current good prices for fish and concerted fishing are to blame for the unwanted fishing methods.

"Ownership may also be another problem, some leaders who own fishing boats may be reluctant to stand firm against illegal fishing. But we should all know that prohibiting illegal fishing is a national interest," Kificho said.

The meeting organized by the ministry responsible for livestock and fishing at the Zanzibar Beach Resort attracted participants from district and regional leaders, political parties and NGOs with the aim of fighting unwanted methods of fishing.

Ms Asha Mohamed Ahmed - legal advisor of the ministry and Mr Mussa Jumbe - director of fisheries and marine resources, said that more than 34,000 fishermen were ruining the environment by using illegal fishing. "Under the fisheries Act of 2010, it is against the law to use prohibited gear and catch immature fish. Let us jointly enforce the laws to increase fish availability," he said. Most of the fish are sold to tourist hotels.

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