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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Tz to earn $200m from Tuna exports
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Tanzania expects to earn $200 million annually from tuna fish following a fishing agreement last week in Dar es Salaam with a Japanese fishing association.
Tanzania signed a one year deep sea fishing agreement with the Japan Tuna Co-operative Association and Deep Sea Fishing Authority of Tanzania.
The national income will be a bonus to Tanzania, which has been losing millions of dollars to pirate trawlers that catch tuna in the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to the agreement, the Japanese association will deploy 30 tuna trawlers in the first year and pay a total of $200 million in fees to the Tanzania government.
The Tanzania government estimates that about 200 foreign trawlers have been illegally catching various types of fish from the country's deep sea waters because Tanzania doesn't have enough capacity to patrol its deep sea zone.
Speaking at the signing of the tuna fishing agreement, the Minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries, Mr John Magufuli, said the agreement marks the start of obliging foreign trawlers to follow the country's fishing laws. "The Japanese organization has opened the way, other foreign trawlers should follow suit," Minister Magufuli said.
He said the Government is already negotiating with other countries' trawlers and expects to sign other pacts in the near future.
The Minister, however, said Tanzania will continue co-operating with member states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to conduct deep sea patrols.
The Japanese Tuna Co-operative Association president, Masahiro Ishikawa, agreed that there was need to take strategic measures to safeguard tuna fish in the EEZ.
The Japan-Tanzania fishing agreement is the first since the establishment in 2007 of the Deep Sea Fishing Authority to enhance management of the fisheries sector.
Minister Magufuli further said by signing the tuna agreement, Tanzania was sending a strong signal in its commitment to sustainable resources use and development.
Dr Magufuli said the contract provides for electronic security surveillance to aid the Deep Sea Authority of Tanzania and the foreign vessels during the enforcement of the fishing pact.
In 2009, the SADC patrols nabbed one illegal fishing trawler with 296 tonnes of tuna fish on board.
The crews were arrested and their boat impounded. A criminal case is still going on in a Dar es Salaam court while they languish in remand jail.
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