Background

Tanzania is well endowed with water resources. Share three of the largest inland lakes in Africa. A diverse river system numerous wetland and an ocean coast line. The country is reasonably rich in marine and inland fishery resources and therefore a significant fisheries sector.

The Fisheries sector has a lot of economic and social significance \0 the country. The sector contributes around 10% of the National GDP. It is ~he main source of protein to nearly one third of the country's population. It provides a source" of employment and livelihood to a substantial number of 'people. Around 80.000 fishermen are employed full time in the fisheries and a few other millions derive their economic livelihood from the sector in one way or another in fisheries related a,ctivities. It is also a source of recreation. tourism and foreign exchange.

In terms of animal protein availability. fish contribute about 30% of the total animal protein in take. This is significant as the majority of the consumers are relatively low-income earners who cannot afford other more expensive sources of protein. There is a growing demand for fish created by population growth estimated at 3.5% per annum.

The present potential yield estimates suggest that. about 730.000 met- ric tons of fish can be harvested from the natural waters as follows:- Lake Victoria ,... 200.000mt Lake Tanganyika ,... 300,OOOmt Lake Nyasa ,.~ loo.():XJmt Other lakes. dams and reservoirs 30.(KX)mt Marine waters (teritorial) 100,oOOmt ---

lSM u 730,OOOmt

The present annual fish catch is estimated at 350.()O{)mt. There is therefore room for increased production.

The EEZ has not been exploited significantly, and there IS therefore a potential to increase landings of tuna and similar fish spec~s.

Available data shows that certain traditional fisheries are either being fully or near full exploitation. where as others are being: little ~xploited. but can offer a good potential for increased production. While efforts are being made to develop new fisheries. the currently exploited fisheries \need to be managed to sustain production and impJo',e handling and

" processipg to reduce losses in order to meet the needs of the gro\ving " popu~ation and the future generations and in this way contribute to food security.

Aquaculture

A number of fresh water fish species. brackish water and marine species of fauna and flora are suitably potential for aquacultll.re. There is a potential for increased fish production through aquacultufe to com- '-ement the capture fisheries. The development of aquaculture. how- ever. needs to bc guided by promoting and incorporating the manage- ment principles to ensure aquaculture sustainability.

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