Mwanza intensifies crackdown on illegal fishing

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MWANZA regional authorities have announced a massive crackdown aimed at arresting the masterminds of illegal fishing in Lake Victoria, in order to save endangered species.

The Mwanza Regional Commissioner, John Mongella said here yesterday that the exercise will also involve confiscation of illegal fishing gear.

The RC was speaking at the launch of a new radio and TV programme dubbed “Tujadiliane” funded by Swedish International Agency (SIDA) and being managed by the Union of Press Clubs in Tanzania (UTPC).

“We have decided to leave politics aside and work to curb illegal fishing and reduce costs incurred by the government in fighting illegal business,” said Mr Mongella.

He noted that illegal fishing has caused the government to incur huge losses through campaigns in Lake Victoria. The RC explained that Mwanza Region had seven fishing processing industries, but to date only three factories are functional.

He added that the region has now decided to collaborate with security organs in conducting crackdown so as to weed out all people engaging in illegal fishing. The regional boss said that the exercise is meant to hold all people engaging in the illegal business accountable regardless of their status.

It has been learnt that some ward councilors, village chairpersons, ward executives and village executive officers have been associated with the illegal business.

According to the Tanzania Fish Processors Limited (TFP), some ten years ago there has been depletion of the Nile-perch in Lake Victoria leading to the decline of fish production by between 20 and 25 per cent.

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