Blast fishing in Tanzania - proof of failure by law enforcers

Published on by Boniventure Mchomvu

By Reporter, The Citizen |8th Nov 2015

“At the close of a two-day seminar on how to fight dynamite fishing, which was held in Tanga Region last October, it was apparent that the participants, including scientists, fisheries officers, police, magistrates, journalists and fishers showed were unhappy that dynamite fishing was still active along Tanzania's 800-kilometre long coastal line. They wondered why Tanzania, unlike its neighbours Kenya and Mozambique, had failed to end the malpractice. But they reached a consensus that the two neighbouring countries had succeeded in controlling the menace after provisions were introduced in their statutes treating dynamite or blast fishing more or less as treason - thus attracting heavy and deterrent penalties, including long jail terms. They called for the need to review the Fisheries Act 2003 whose punishment for convicted dynamite fishers is a five-year jail term without an option of fine. The two-day seminar brought together players in the fisheries industry, including the magistrates, the police, fisheries officials, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and local government authorities to build understanding of the magnitude of the problem and find out ways and means of resolving it. The seminar was organized by the National Environment Management Council (Nemc) and supported by WWF Tanzania. Winfred Haule, a retired assistant director of fisheries and executive director of Tanzania Fisheries and Aquatic Environment Organisation (Tafaeo), said the Fisheries Act 2003 should be reviewed and toughened if the country were to succeed in its war against dynamite fishing.”

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