TANZANIA is considering enhancing its distant water fishing sector to increase its contribution in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a senior official in the Planning Commission in the Ministry of Finance and Planning has said.
He said the government targets to increase the sector’s share to 10 percent by 2020, up from 2.9 per cent. Speaking at a Fisheries Stakeholders Meeting organised by WWF and held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Planning Commission official, Mr Julius Edward, said a plan is already in place and is seeking ministerial sectors, private sector and civil society organisation partnership to improve its contribution.
“There are a number of challenges, especially with regard to preserving the marine nature and promote sustainable development,” he added.Mr Edward pointed out that to make matters even worse; climate change was becoming a threat.
However, the Vice-President’s Office responsible for environment is working on a national adaptation plan that will be launched soon. The workshop was held ahead alarming dynamite fishing and other illegal activities putting the contribution of the sector to the GDP to a limited as nothing. WWF Marine Sector Coordinator Dr Mathias Iguru detailed that the sector has been vital to about 30 per cent or 10 million people living near the coast.
“Illegal fishing and poor protection of the water will affect a huge population directly depending on fishery activities other than human, aquaculture, flora and fauna,” Dr Iguru observed. He called for effective climate adaptation and enhancement of sustainable artisanal fisheries.
But in his observation, the coordinator noted that there was also a need to strengthen the judicial process in cases of dynamite fishing and promote effective use of research.
Mwambao Coastal Community Network Country Coordinator Mr Ali Thani and Journalist Environment Association of Tanzania Chairperson Dr Ellen Otaru called for joint partnership of CSO and private sector to help oversee implementation of sustainable development goals.
Dr Otaru said while the organisation can make good use of the media houses to inform the public, Mr Thani highlighted the need to support artisanal fishers by creating a special fund to finance the sector.
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