THE government plans to procure eight fishing vessels to utilise the special zone of deep sea resources as one of the key steps to revive the Tanzania Fisheries Corporation (Tafico).
Speaking in Dodoma after a fisheries stakeholders' roundtable meeting with financial institutions, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in charge of the fisheries sector, Dr Rashid Tamatamah, said the move also focused on creating employment opportunities from marine products.
According to Dr Tamatamah, the arrival of those fishing vessels would boost fisheries sector, as Tanzania aimed at tripling production to boost its contribution to GDP.
"Since independence we haven't utilised adequately the Indian Ocean. In November or December the first vessel will be here and five years later with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) we will have other eight vessels, four for Zanzibar and four for Mainland Tanzania," he noted.
He noted that apart from bringing those fishing vessels, government tabled 10 programmes that would be implemented during the revival of Tafico. Dr Tamatamah added that the resurgence of the corporation would shape the growth of the fisheries sector.
He explained that up to now Tanzania had no single vessel in deep sea, neither private nor government vessel.
"Once we have them it will be easy to get information of what is going on, including illegal fishing and pirates who may be operating in deep sea," said Dr Tamatamah.
In recent years, the government vowed to revive Tafico which started its operations in the mid-1970s before its collapse in the 1990s. Some financial institutions have already expressed interest in joint ventures with the government to run the company for the interests of the nation and fishermen.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) Japhet Justine said the revival of Tafico would open up a wide range of economic opportunities, including bringing in foreign currency.
"We have at least 223,000km of deep sea, but we haven't invested enough to extract resources found there," he said.