Tanzania: State Moves to Protect Indian Ocean Resources

(File photo).

MINISTER for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina said yesterday that the government has formed a special zone for protecting resources in Indian Ocean.

The special zone will basically focus on fighting illegal fishing and protection of other resources within Indian Ocean waters.

He said the fifth phase government is committed to ensure that Indian Ocean resources benefit the country and its wananchi at large.

The minister was addressing fishermen in Kilwa District, Lindi Region on various measures that are taken by the government in protecting the Indian Ocean and ensure proper exploitation of resources for the betterment of the nation and its people.

Earlier, the fishermen asked the minister to allow them to use generators and solar energy light in fishing activities.

The said equipment were banned from being used in fishing activities after the enactment of the 2003 Fishing Act.

The minister said the government does not intend to suppress or frustrate fishermen and other wananchi but it stands firm to ensure all laws and regulations are implemented as required.

"I would like to tell you that a good person is the one who comes up with strategies for fighting illegal fishing so that you can continue fishing every year, but the person who teaches you how to apply poisonous means in catching fish should not be tolerated, as you will have nothing to fish from this water the following day," he noted.

He said the government had reviewed the 2003 fishing Act and its regulations so as to remove some articles that did not allow smooth operations in fishing activities.

Mr Mpina agreed with the fishermen's request to use solar power and generators for fishing, saying they should not be disturbed until the new regulations will be formed.

Kilwa District Commissioner Christopher Ngubiagai said Minister Mpina's visit has helped to answer several questions that had been posed by fishermen. He asked them to continue working hard by supporting the government plans of becoming a middle income economy by 2025.

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