TANZANIA – Ministry for Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania has tabled a new bill, the Deep Sea Fisheries Management and Development Act of 2020 aimed to improve management and development of deep sea fishing in the country’s jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean waters.

The new bill, designed to improve the administration of the Deep Sea Fishing Authority and fisheries conservation, will repeal the Deep Sea Fishing Authority Act of 1988 and its 2017 amendments, reports the East African.

According to Luhaga Mpina, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, the new law that will also be applied in the Zanzibar archipelago is aimed at introducing conservation and management measures of fisheries.

The measures included fisheries research in the exclusive economic zone, and implementation of regional conservation and management measures.

The minister said the new law will also provide for prohibitions on the use of fishing vessels for transnational organized crime in Tanzania.

Mpina said introduction of the new law will go in tandem with the revamping of the Tanzania Fishing Corporation (Tafico) in Tanzania’s mainland and the Zanzibar Fisheries Company to enable the two fishing firms to revive the fisheries sector.

To this end according to a report by the Citizen Tanzania, the ministry has prepared a business plan that will be jointly implemented by both the government and private sector to revive the sector.

Tabling the ministry’s Sh66.818 billion (US$28.8m) revenue and expenditure estimates for 2020/21 fiscal year, Mr Mpina said fishing vessels will be deployed in inland water bodies, in addition to the construction of a fish processing plant and a cold storage facility.

Other projects include but are not limited to aquaculture development are, cage fish farming in Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean; pond fish farming; fish hatchery, and the construction of a fish feed plant.

“Three of the projects will be implemented through execution of ten projects worth Sh89.282 billion (US$38.6m) expected to start in the 2020/21 fiscal year,” he said.

Also, the government was dialoguing with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), seeking to secure Sh68.8 billion (US$29.7m) for purchasing two ships for longlinner and purse seine at an estimated cost of Sh55.9 billion (US$24.1m). These would enable Tafico exploit the nation’s potential deep sea wealth.

Mr Mpina said the remaining Sh12.9 billion (US$5.57m) would be used to implement a water creatures’ project, for which an agreement has been made, and is to commence in January 2021.

“The government will procure three ships to commence deep-sea and inland waters fishing,” he said. “It will also start rehabilitating Tafico buildings and infrastructures, including a berth for docking its fishing vessels, as well as installation of ice-making equipment,” he told the Parliament.

Through the ESDP, the ministry secured Sh4.2 billion (US$1.8m) and investment has started in the construction of a fishing vessel to ply inland waterways, building a cold-storage room, renovating an engineering workshop and procurement of a refrigeration truck.

He said the Italian firm Sering Ingegneria has conducted a feasibility study for a fishing port evaluating 11 areas in terms of ecological criteria.

He named the evaluated areas as Mbegani (Bagamoyo), Ras Buyuni and Shangani (Mtwara), Lindi Port, Rushungi, Kilwa Masoko and Kilwa Kivinje (Lindi), Moa, Mwambani, Pangani and Tanga Port in (Tanga).

He said the government was now talking with South Korea for the provision of aid in one form or another with which to implement the projects.