Friday, 1 August 2008

This open access will deplete our fisheries

From IPP Media, Dar es Salaam
By Emanuel Kihaule

Sometime in May, this year, President Jakaya Kikwete while in Mwanza Region expressed his concerns over the increasing acts of over fishing and illegal fishing in Lake Victoria which, according to him, posed a threat to the future of the lake's fishery resources.

"Over fishing is posing a great threat. Reports show that the number of fishermen has gone up from 51, 935 in 2002 to 98,015 last year," he revealed.

Fishing vessels operating in the lake have also increased from 15,434 to 29,730 during the period, he added.

He said this shortly after officially inaugurating a new fish-processing plant that is owned by Tanzania Fisheries Development Company Limited (TFDC), a subsidiary of the National Investment Company Limited (NICOL).

"I really wish these findings were wrong. But this is the reality," said the President, expressing his deepest concern over the future of the lake and its fisheries.

President Kikwete further said that the size of fish being caught was also worrisome, pointing out that of late Nile Perch species coming out of the lake weighs between two and five kilogrammes as compared to 15 and 45 kilogrammes some years back.

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