Somalia gave its fishing rights to China, but Tanzania bans fish importation from China; who is on the right track?
While other African countries are increasing their importations from China, with many going as far as importing chewing sticks and toothpicks from the Asian giant, Tanzania has begged to differ.
The East African country has refused to follow in the footsteps of countries like Somalia who gave up their fishing rights to China. Tanzania has announced plans to place a ban on the importation of fish from China and Vietnam; an action which the country says it is taking in a bid to boost the local fishing industry.
The government made the decision known today in what is said to be part of the administration’s plan to review the Fisheries Act which regulates the fishing sector.
Confirming the report, Luhaga Mpina, the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, said that the regulations will be put in place to safeguard local fisheries.
“We are looking to protect Tanzania’s marine resources through proper arrangements for commercial fishing, to make it beneficial to those in the business,” said Mpina.
Tanzania produces about 336,821 tonnes of fish per year and has a local demand of 731,000 tonnes. Most of the local fishing takes place in the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Nyasa.
Tanzania is not the only African country that produces such a large quantity of fish which is capable of satisfying local demand adequately.
The question which remains unanswered however is why do African countries still import what they have in abundance – an act that is detrimental to local businesses.
It is on record that Tanzania imports a total of 24,000 tonnes of fish monthly valued at $25 million.
Tanzania’s fisheries economy is valued at $4 billion with approximately 200,000 fishermen earning a living from the industry. There is no doubt that the ban will benefit both the fishermen and the economy immensely.
Neither China nor Vietnam has released a statement on the issue at the time of this report.
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Header Image Credit: Encyclopedia Britannica
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