TANZANIA – Tanzania is set to construct an international shipping port to promote Sustainable Blue Economy and improve the fishing sector as well, reports the Guardian.
Speaking during the sustainable blue economy conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Abdallah Ulega, the deputy minister for Livestock and Fisheries revealed that the government is in its final stages to see the commencement of the port.
The Sustainable Blue Economy is a marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations.
It focuses on restoring, protecting and maintaining the diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems, and is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.
According to him, the highly unutilised capacity in the fisheries sector is an opportunity that can see the country benefit at a global level.
“Under the plans, more fishing ships will be purchased to make it easier for deep sea fishing in the country and thus enable it compete internationally,” he said.
He also added that the port is expected to attract fishing vessels from various countries opening up fish trade in Tanzania.
“Investing in processing industries and storage facilities are therefore major opportunities to bolster revenues in the fisheries sector.”
Ulega emphasised on the importance of protecting the water bodies, environment among other resources to ensure that any country realises a stable and sustainable economy.
The sustainable blue economy conference had brought participants from around the world and was aimed at harnessing the potential of water bodies to improve the livelihood of fishing communities.
Tanzania has been one of the latest countries in the East Africa to address the reported increasing cases of illegal fishing with sub Saharan countries seen to raise awareness in the fish industry.
The country’s current fish production stands at around 376,000 metric tons a year, with around 97% of fish sourced from small-scale fisheries.
Decline in fish catches from the Indian Ocean last year had seen the country import over 2,000 tonnes of Mackerel fish from China.
Statistics reveals a continued average decline in fish catches in Tanzania with 2016 recording a 30,000 tonnes decline within a four-year period.