Azania Post Reporter
ILLEGAL fishnet worth shillings 200million has been destroyed last year in Misungwi district , Mwanza region in Tanzania , the authority has said.
Speaking to Azania Post in an interview, the Misungwi District Executive Director, Eliud Mwaiteleke said they have determined to end the illegal fishing activities in the Lake Victoria.
“Misungwi district covers a large part of the Lake Victoria we want to make sure that illegal fishing comes to an end, “he said.
He said last year the district authority destroyed illegal fishnets and nabbed some culprits who were dragged to the to court.
Explaining further he said the district did not get enough income from fish sector this year because of the nature of Lake Victoria which covers a great area of Misungwi.
“Misungwi is the fish breeding site , so we do not have high catches in our area so this affect income to the district,” he said.
In a move aimed at curbing illegal fishing in the country the government has been taking various measures.
Recently, the Vice President Samia Suluhu ordered the country’s northern Mwanza region authorities to strengthen security patrols against illegal fishing in Lake Victoria, the largest in Africa.
“Illegal fishing has hugely contributed to depletion of fish in the lake,” said Suluhu on the second day of her one-week official visit to the east African nation’s Lake Zone regions.
The Vice-President said in a statement issued by her office that people found using illegal fishing gear should be prosecuted in courts of law.
“If they continue using illegal fishing gear, including poison, all fish will be depleted within no time,” Suluhu said when addressing public rallies in Misungwi district.
She said illegal fishing, especially of Nile perch, was not only depleting the lake of fish, but it was also destroying breeding grounds for the fish and denying fish processing plants of raw materials.
A 2012 study by SmartFish said the decline of Nile perch stocks suggest that fisheries departments in all the three countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda sharing Lake Victoria were allowing illegal unreported and unregulated fishing to continue thriving unabated.
The study found that the total biomass of Nile perch decreased from 1.4 million tonnes (92 per cent of total biomass in Lake Victoria) in 1999 to its lowest recorded estimate of 298, 394 tonnes in 2008 (14.9 per cent of total biomass ).