LACK of relevant technological skills affects development of fish industry as local fishermen cannot reach deep seas of the Indian Ocean, which the country enjoys an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Addressing the 16th Biennial International Conference on Fisheries Economics and Trade in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Mr Benedict Ole Nangoro, said the sector was also being affected by piracy.
"All these have prevented Tanzanians from utilizing their EEZ optimally," said the minister while opening the four-day meeting organized by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). However, the deputy minister said the government was committed to promote the sector by introducing a National Aquaculture Development Strategy (NADS).
"Fish trade is an important component for sustainability and benefit of the fisheries industry through providing opportunities to stakeholders," Mr Nangoro said. He noted that Tanzania was currently trading with EU, Asia, the Far East and other emerging markets in the world.
Mr Nangoro urged the conference to discuss how best fish trade can be conducted for the benefit of all and that universities and research institutions should engage in fish value chain analysis in order to provide missing information.
He hailed the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) for organizing the conference because the meeting was the perfect forum for local fishery stakeholders to discuss challenges facing the sector and borrow a leaf of experiences from other participants.
The meeting which goes under the theme Visible Possibilities is attended by about 200 participants from different countries.