Crisis Looms As Tanzania Fish Export’s Suffers Set Back

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Crisis has hit Tanzanian fish export due to Illegal operations of fish-factories in the country.

It was gathered that six out of 12 registered fish processing plants are dormant.

Meanwhile ,six others – Nile Perch, Vick Fish, TFP, VICTORIA, MZAWA and Mwanza Fish – are also operating at less than 30 percent of their capacity, according to the fishers and the processors association.

According to local media report, some fishermen who used to catch 500 kilograms per day are now struggling to catch five kilograms, most times returning empty-handed.

The majority of fishermen catch Nile perch, tilapia, haprochromis (furu) and silver cyprinid (dagaa), but Nile perch leads in exports and revenue.

Now, their lives and that of locals who depend on fishing activity in Mwanza, a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania, have turned into a lament, with poverty looming over them, if not already engulfing their existence.

This gripping tale unfolds in a region where 3.3 percent of the economy depends on fishing – a major decline from 7 percent in 2011. Locals and experts have quickly attributed the new reality to depleting fish stocks in the lake.

“There is no factory in Mwanza that is currently running double shifts. Local factories now get their supplies at least after two or three days each week,” said Tanzania’s Industrial Fishing and Processors Association (TIFPA) Executive Secretary, Onesmo Sulle.

The TIFPA Executive Secretary, Onesmo Sulle, could not provide details on the list of factories that have ceased operations, but explained that those in operation are no longer making profit.

“The factories are operating under very low capacity. They are alive because they must repay their loan and equity,” he said.