TANZANIA – Tanzania has witnessed a significant 41% increase in fish exports over the past year, attributed largely to the booming aquafarming sector.

Export volumes rose to 41,271 tonnes by April 2023/24, compared to 26,466 tonnes the previous year.

This growth was primarily fueled by enhanced seaweed farming and improved management of seafood exports and processing facilities, according to Dr. Nazael Madala, Director of Aquaculture at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

“Aquafarming, especially seaweed production, has been instrumental in boosting our export numbers,” Dr. Madala stated in an interview with Daily News.

To sustain this momentum, the ministry aims to bolster market opportunities for Tanzanian fish products internationally, with an ambitious target of exporting 46,000 tonnes in 2024/25.

In presenting the ministry’s budget, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega, highlighted that the total export value had reached 515.78 billion Tanzanian shillings by April this year.

However, he noted a slight decline in the export of live decorative fish, which dropped to 134,572 from 150,308 the previous year.

Despite the increase in exports, Tanzania imports minimal quantities of fish, constituting only 0.003% of its annual production.

The country imported a mere 12.90 tonnes of fish this fiscal year, mainly salmon for tourist hotels, compared to 6.92 tonnes in the previous year.

This is negligible considering the total fish production stood at 472,579 tonnes up to April, up from 426,555 tonnes in 2022/23.

The International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) reported that the fish consumption rate in Tanzania is not driven by consumer preferences, but there is a substantial demand gap, estimated at around 300,000 tonnes.

In related news, Tanzania’s fish industry is set for further enhancement with the construction of its first-ever fishing harbor, slated for completion in 2025.

In April, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced that the project, managed by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), is currently 42% complete.

The Tanzania Ports Authority revealed that the harbor construction has generated over 400 jobs for local residents.

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