THE Acting Director of Mtama District Council, Mahmoud Kimbokota, has directed fishermen in Lindi region to observe rules and regulations governing the harvest of marine resources.
Mr Kimbokota made the remarks at a meeting with a team of specialists from First South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (SWIOFish) who went to monitor and evaluate progress of a project implemented in Mtama District Council, Lindi region yesterday.
Speaking to the team while briefing on the progress of the SWIOfish project, Kimbokota said that fishermen should realise that fishing is a formal income generating activity like any other activity, so they must respect and value it.
"Fishermen must adhere to the rules and regulations and stop fishing using bombs, hooks and illegal fishing nets, let every fisherman be a protector and teacher of each other, let us stop illegal fishing ourselves,".
"Bomb fishing is not good, first it is dangerous for their livelihood, it also destroys fish spawning grounds and the environment, including mangrove vegetation, because they must be left alone to protect fish spawning grounds in the sea," he added.
Kimbokota commended the government for setting up the SWIOfish project in the district, and said that the community has begun to change, while urging the government to continue empowering fishermen so that they can grow their capital and get modern tools and abandon the use of traditional tools.
"The project should continue to provide education to fishermen so that all fishing areas remain safe and fishermen can carry out their activities in accordance with the rules and regulations," he noted.
Mr Kimbokota added that due to the improvement of resource management done by the project, especially in the patrol area, fishermen have begun to follow the rules and regulations, leading to better control of revenue for the Council.
"As a result of the strengthening of patrols, the Council has been able to control the revenue generated from marine harvesting activities that has increased to 29.9m/- in 2020 from 13.5m/- in 2015, this is an increase of more than 50 per cent," explained Kimbokota.
He went on to explain that the regular patrol has helped the Council to have accurate data on fishing vessels used in fishing activities in the district, adding that patrols have also led to a significant reduction in fishing using shells and nets.
In addition, he thanked the SWIOfish project for deciding to build a Joint Maritime Protection Office (BMU) in Sudi village, saying that the office will help strengthen the protection of marine resources in those areas and end illegal fishing.