European Union hands over two Patrol Boats to the CFMAs of Kilwa Kivinje and Mafia
The handing over was organized through the EU funded project implemented by WWF Tanzania named 'Building effective long term fisheries co-management in five coastal districts in Tanzania, and promoting coast-wide learning on the same'. The project was implemented in Rufiji (Kibiti), Mafia, Kilwa, Mtwara rural district and Kigamboni municipality. The duration was five years from 2013 to 2017 with a financial envelope of EUR 3 (8 billion TZS). Achievement of the project includes establishment and strengthening of 68 Beach Management Units (BMUs) and 17 Community Fisheries Management Areas (CFMAs).
The Guest of Honour, Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Abdallah Ulega (MP) said he was grateful to the EU and WWF for their continuous support in fighting illegal fishing especially blast fishing. He said in the past you could hear blasts after every few minutes and that had become part of life for people in Kilwa. “We truly thank WWF for the efforts they have put in in educating the fishing communities around here and empowering them to be guardians of the marine resources, today you can hardly her any blast and in some places these have stopped completely”. He called on the district government to make sure that they give back to the beach Management Units the percentage of the collected fisheries revenue as instructed so that they become independent and are able to effectively manage the marine resources. He requested the EU and WWF to support fishers by ensuring their catch has an assured market in and outside the country. “We still need a permanent market place at this place and possibly investors in the fisheries industries, I hope you will be in a position to look into that, bring in your friends and supporters and help the government make this happen”.
In the EU’s handing over remarks The EU Head of Section on Natural Resources, Mrs. Jenny Correia Nunes, said the EU is proud of all the efforts and achievements that the BMUs and CFMAs in Kilwa Kivinje and Mafia have achieved through the fisheries co management project that they have supported. “While we have seen a healthy rise in income from fisheries activities as a result of the project and the support provided by the government; yet challenges remain and the patrol boat we're officially handing over to you today will help to support the valuable work of monitoring and protection of marine ecosystems”, she said.
WWF Tanzania Country Director Amani Ngusaru said WWF through EU funding has worked with fishing communities in five districts and is happy to report that all the intended targets have been exceeded. “We have helped in establishing 68 Beach Management Units (BMU) and 17 Collaborative Fisheries Management Areas (CFMAs) where we had planned to establish 67 BMUs and 16 CFMAs. We thank the EU for supporting the conservation of marine resources from the coast of Mtwara to Dar Es Salaam and the buying of the boats that we are handing over today, I urge the recipients of Kilwa Kivinje and Mafia and the government to make sure that the boats are managed well and used for the intended patrolling. We want to reach a point where we can report no illegal fishing in our areas” he said.
The event signified the intervention to strengthen law enforcement in combating illegal fishing activities including blast fishing. In total four patrol boats were purchased by the project and handed over to the CFMAs including in Kigamboni and Mtwara.