PRIME Minister, Kassim Majaliwa yesterday directed the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina, to carry on with efforts to oversee the protection of fishery resources in the country.
The premier said most of the operations to combat illegal fishing run by the ministry have brought substantial benefits and increased sales of fish out of the country, which enables the nation to start benefiting from the resources.
Speaking during the climax of Nane Nane exhibition at Nyakabindi grounds in Simiyu Region, Mr Majaliwa said the government's strategy, for now, is to optimize the management and control of fisheries sector in order to generate more income at the individual and national level.
"Now we have started to witness that the size of the fish is much bigger than in previous years, this is the result of several operations that we have conducted," he noted.
"But today the fishermen are relieved to see what we have gained through this operation, therefore I urge minister Mpina to intensify such operations in this area because they have a positive impact," said Mr Majaliwa.
He also directed the ministry to prepare a special program to raise public awareness on the type of nets to be used by fishermen to get rid of clashes between fishermen and the government on the matter.
Mr Majaliwa urged those who attended the exhibition to visit the fisheries pavilion to see the kind of fishing nets needed in all areas, including rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans.
Minister Mpina assured the Prime Minister that his ministry will continue to actively manage fishery resources and livestock as well as assure breeders and fishermen that the local market will be enhanced.
"The government is with you, and our duty is to protect the domestic market and address several challenges that hinder you to conduct your business appropriately," he said.
He said the fight against illegal fishing has enabled an increase in fish on the domestic market, so the decline in fish imports from overseas has reached 67 per cent, while exports increased from 379bn/-to 680bn/-.
Expounding further he said, 'Operation Sangara' has succeeded to remove in the market a total of 772,880 illegal nets, 568,843 kilograms of young fish, and 9,272 suspects were arrested.
Mr Mpina said the government through Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), has conducted a lake-wide hydro acoustic survey to estimate the amount of fish (biomass), in Lake Victoria with associated confidence limits; to determine the spatial distribution of the fish stocks and to collect biological and limnological information to get better understanding of fish biology, ecology as well as environment in which they live.
The survey has established that there is an increasing presence of Nile perch, from 417,936 metric tons in 2016 to 553,770 metric tons in 2018, it's declining with a minimum height of 50 centimeters from 96.6 per cent in 2017 to reach 62.8 per cent in 2018, an increase of length ranging from 50 centimeters to 85 centimeters.