TANZANIA – The Deep-Sea Fishing Authority (DFSA) of Tanzania in collaboration with a Spain deep sea fishing company anticipates building a TZS23.4 billion (US$10 M) fish processing factory in Tanga.

According to the DFSA’s Managing director Dr Emmanuel Sweke, once fully operational, the factory will have the capacity to process 100-200 tonnes of fish per day and create about 100 job opportunities for the citizens of Tanzania.

“This Spain fishing company also has been registered in Zanzibar Marine Authority and practicing fishing activities in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” Dr. Sweke revealed.

“It is also providing about TZS920million (US$393,667) to the government every year as an economic compensation and it has agreed to employ 10 Tanzanians in their vessel as well as train two Tanzanians in the level of vessel Captains.”

The Spain fishing company in question is called Pacific Star and it was recently granted a license for its vessels to practice deep-sea fishing in the Indian Ocean using the Tanzanian flag.

To ensure all the objectives and aspirations of the blue economy are achieved, the managing director communicated that the government is still proceeding with the construction of the Kilwa Market Port, where it has already invested TZS50 billion (US$21.3M).

DFSA to issue 50 deep-sea fishing licenses

Dr Sweke also noted that the government persists with the efforts to reduce the operating costs of deep-sea fishing to increase the number of fishing vessels which will in turn increase the DSFA’s contribution to the national income through registration and license fees.

He announced that from the period starting July 2022 to January 2023, the Authority has collected TZS4.1 billion (US$1.7M) from license fees and expects to collect a larger amount by June 2023 as they expect to increase license registration from 36 fishing vessel licenses to 50.

He further noted that ensure that the deep-sea fishing area is safe, the authority monitors the vessels to ensure they have been registered to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area.

“We use Automatic Identification system, vessel monitoring system as well as aerial and water surveillance to prevent illegal fishing and other contrabands to ensure that this area is safe,” he said.

According to The East African magazine, Tanzania, with a per capita consumption of fish estimated at 8.5kg per year, produces about 336,821 tonnes of fish per year, against a demand of 731,000 tonnes.

Currently, the country bridges the gap with imports. In 2019, they imported about 24,000 tonnes of fish per month worth TZS56 billion ($25 million), mostly from China, Vietnam and other states around the Indian Ocean.

The new fish processing factory is expected to narrow such a gap and hence promote economic development and food security.

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