Tanzania looses $4 billion in seafood revenue, further threatening the country’s fishing industry that is already plagued by illegal fishing, a study conducted by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) stated.
The study which covered Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, noted that although Tanzania’s fishing industry currently contributes about Sh2 trillion ($887 million) to the GDP of the country, analysts still under-value the industry.
This huge loss in Tanzania’s seafood industry is attributed to illegal fish harvests which the report says is more profitable than legal fishing. It is also the reason why illegal fishing looms in the East African country.
The study cites lack of policy intervention as the cause of the sector’s poor performance and its meagre economic contribution.
Out of the 56 million people in Tanzania, about four million rely directly or indirectly on fishing for a living.
In a bid to curb illegal fishing and boost the seafood revenue, three countries including Tanzania met in Uganda last year, under the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) where they agreed on a regional patrol exercise to remove illegal fishing gear and to increase compliance to fisheries regulations.
They concluded that the fight against illegal fishing requires political resolve, financial resources, infrastructure and collaboration between stakeholders.
According to the IOC-SmartFish MCS Assistant, Fanjanirina Jérômine, “Pooling of assets, information and knowledge between different countries enables countries to share surveillance and control of fishing.”
Tanzania looses up to seventy percent of its fish-catch to post harvest loses.