RESEARCHERS in Zanzibar have called for improved management strategies for sustainable Fishery in isles. The researchers made the call here during the launch of a policy brief and presentation of research results at the stakeholders meeting officiated by the Minister of Blue Economy, Mr Abdalla Kombo.
Dr Narriman Jidawi, a researcher who made a presentation of the policy brief, said that fishery resources are a vital source of food and make valuable economic contributions to the local communities in the Isles.
It was revealed that irrespective of the increase of total fish catch being reported currently, there is a sign of decline in catch per unit due to increasing number of fishers, vessels, gears, and fish demand resulting from increasing population and tourists.
“Also human and environmental factors such as pollution, illegal fishing and climate change contribute to the imbalance of the catch-ability of the fisheries resources, thus affecting people’s livelihood,” Ms Jidawi said, with her words echoed by Prof Mohamed Sheikh of the State University Zanzibar (SUZA) who presented on ‘Human pressures and threats on coastal and Marine in Zanzibar.’
The researchers recommended improving livelihoods and sustainability of the fishery resources, support, and enhancing local business prominence, since fisheries sector is among the priority sectors in Zanzibar for growth and poverty reduction.
“The sector has been recognized by its role played in national socio-economic development as it provides employment, income, recreation, trade and economic wellbeing. The sector contributed 5.2 per cent in 2018 of the national GDP (Office of Chief Government Statisticians OCGS 2019),” they said at the stakeholders meeting.
A presentation titled ‘The best way to increase seaweed production, improve seaweed value addition and processing in Zanzibar’ which was presented by Dr Afua MohamedCommissioner, Department of Research in the Zanzibar Planning Commission who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Council She said that seaweed farming remains an important area in achieving blue economy goals, and that research findings indicate a bright future should the existing challenges be addressed, as Minister Abdalla Kombo commended the researchers and COSTECH for good work.