Fish populations keep falling

Protection of fish and other marine resources can effectively be achieved through involvement of members of the community in monitoring fishing activities in a bid to strike a balance between supply and demand.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam, the Deputy Director with the Department of Fisheries Development, Ms Fatma Sobo, said that the move came after seeing the need for daily monitoring of fishing activities on coastal lines for all lakes and the Indian Ocean. 

“There is a need to have sufficient ability to prevent illegal fishing along coast lines.

The ministry has decided to encourage citizens to protect these areas by training them to guard against illegal fishing.”Ms Fatma said. 

However, a Representative of the Fisheries Resources Protection Department, Capt. Ernest Bupamba, said that every person in the community has an obligation to protect fisheries resources.

He added that the ministry has all along been implementing strategies that include preventing people from engaging in fishing activities without licences. 

Fishermen should also refrain from using poison or dynamite which destroys marine organisms and breeding grounds for fish.

Addressing the shortage of fish in lakes, rivers and the ocean, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Mohammed Bahari said that the main reason behind it was over-fishing.

He said that due to the increase in human population the demand for fish goes up giving rise to illegal fishing. Mr Bahari said that the government is keen on controlling illegal fishing and restoring fish populations through organized breeding.

This, he said, can be done with help from the Marine Parks Reserve Unit (MPRU), Local authorities and members of the community.

Commenting on the shortage of fish in the ocean and in lakes, Mr Bahari said records indicate that in Lake Victoria there has been a tremendous decrease of fish from 383,276,730 million tonnes in 2006 to 161,678,000 million tonnes in the year 2011.
Source: Daily News, reported by Margareth Itala, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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