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Tanga Forges Initiative to Curb Dynamite Fishing

daily news, Y GIDEON GEORGE, 28 APRIL 2014, http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/features/30816-tanga-forges-initiative-to-curb-dynamite-fishing , http://allafrica.com/stories/201404280135.html?viewall=1

GRAPPLING with the problem of dynamite fishing, the Tanga City Council in cooperation with local non-governmental organization, Tumaini Environmental Conservation Group (TECG) in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) is embarking on an importance process to put in place a District Coastal Resources Co-management Plan aiming at elimination of fishing practices that destroy the resources through people's participation.

Our correspondent GIDEON GEORGE reports from Tanga. AT the first of a series of meetings organized by the Tanga City Council, in cooperation with a local NGO, Tumaini Environmental Conservation Group (TECG) to garner contributions for establishment of a District Coastal Resources Co-Management Plan aimed at saving the coastal areas from further degradation from such vices as dynamite fishing, a veteran environmentalist and Chairman of the Chongoleani Coastal Village Environmental Committee, a coastal village located to the north of the Tanga Port, Omari Kombo, was up in arms.

For him any talk about eliminating or reducing dynamite fishing or other forms of illegal fishing in the Tanga Coastal Zone could be mere voices in the air if there is no plan to involve coastal villagers in control efforts.

He has been reared in the successful collaborative Management Programs (CMAPs) established under the Irish Government supported by Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and development Programme (TCZCDP) and the World Bank financed Tanzania Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (MACEMP), which actively involved coastal villagers in the protection of the resources and reduced dynamite fishing to almost zero levels.

Kombo insists that without any concrete plan to achieve villagers' cooperation in patrolling the sea and seriousness in funding those patrols coastal resources would continue to be plundered to the detriment of the people of the coastal villages.

Faced with increasing dynamite fishing, Tanga City Council that successfully controlled the scourge for a number of years, is preparing a District Coastal Resources Co-management Plan aiming at elimination of fishing practices that destroy the resources.

The City Council in a good show of how the Public Private Partnership (PPP) works is collaborating with a City-based nongovernmental organization, Tumaini Environmental Conservation Group (TECG) to organize the initiative.

With funding from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) routed through the Mazingira Network (MANET), the City Council and Tumaini, organized the first meeting involving over 60 stakeholders including villagers from the Tanga Coastal line.

"This is the first of the series of meetings that would send us to a comprehensive Coastal Resources Co-Management Plan," said the Fisheries Officer, Aneny Nyirenda adding that the meeting was aimed at securing early contribution from the coastal villagers.

The participants suggested a revival of the coastal area collaborative management area programmes (CMAPs) in a quest to stem the rising wave of illegal fishing activities along the Tanga coast, including dynamite fishing.

The participants who included the village Chairmen, Ward and Village Executive Officers from 20 Tanga District coastal villages, officials from the Tanga Tourist Network Association (TATONA) said that past experiences where villagers were actively involved in the management of the resources showed that only active participation of the villagers, serious awareness education and funding initiatives would eliminate dynamite fishing and save marine life from extinction.

Collaborative Management Plans the CMAP and Collaborative Mangrove Management Plans were the main achievement of the Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme and led to increased conservation and protection of the marine resources and increase of fish stocks along the Tanga coastal villages.

CMAPs were central to the former coastal conservation and the extension of the approach to mangrove forests. The fundamental basis of a CMA is that management is by resource users with each CMA comprising the 'home' fishing grounds shared by a group of villages or mangrove forests shared between two or more villages.

Dynamite fishing, according to Kombo and records from the two programs, had successfully been controlled during the era to almost zero levels increasing the volume of fish and fish catch.

According to records every time the programs ended dynamite fishing erupted with vengeance as it was case in 2006 when the TCZCDP ended and reported dynamite blasts suddenly shot up from almost zero to 69 blasts per month in the following year (2007) until another donor showed up through MACEMP.

However, it was reported that when the project was drawing to an end and the budget was dwindling, there were dire consequences in occurrence of the same phenomenon of 2007 when the TCZCDP came to an end in 2006.

It was reported by Mkinga District Fisheries authorities that dynamite fishing incidents shot up sharply again to 19 blasts per month in 2010 from just about four in 2009/10. Reduced funding from MACEMP was mentioned as the reason behind the situation.

And according to the Head of the Fisheries Patrol Unit, Zebadiah Ngogo dynamite fishing is still a major threat that is causing sleepless nights for the fisheries Patrol Unit along the Tanga Region coastline despite efforts made by the Government to control the devastative fishing practice.

Kombo said they were more than ready to participate in the new initiative but had reservations on the honesty of some officials from the fisheries department. "We once caught a fisherman with explosives in his boat but when his family followed the matter at the district level they were told to go back and negotiate with Chongoleani Environmental Committee to seek release of the boat," he said.

"The situation is obviously still precarious. Blasts are reported by stakeholders such as hotel owners now and then," said an obviously disappointed Mbogo who pointed out that the continuing dynamite fishing is not only causing a threat to marine resources but the economy through tourism - spot fishing.

He said that explosives from these companies seem to be loosely controlled, finding their way to fishermen who use them in dynamite fishing. He said that stakeholders, including the Tanzanian Dynamite Fishing Monitoring Network, a voluntary network of marine conservationists and the private tourism and fisheries sector are reported dynamite blasts.

Records show that the devastating form of fishing first appeared in Tanzania in the 1960s, and by the mid-1990s had become a serious problem. A high-profile national campaign involving hotel operators and the media brought international pressure and donor attention to the issue, and the navy was enlisted to assist with enforcement.

This campaign, along with close community and peer group control, succeeded in pushing out dynamiters for over two decades, particularly in southern Tanzania. Also in the north, blasting was rare for a few years between 1997 and 2003,the records point out.

However, according to the Tanzanian Dynamite Fishing Monitoring Network, since 2003, dynamite fishing has resumed. The new initiative calls for showing of more seriousness than it was before and for preparing an initiative that would not depend on donors.

Opening the meeting the City Director, Mrs Juliana Malange called on stakeholders to take stock of challenges and opportunities and prepare a plan that would help to stem the tide of increased dynamite fishing. "Above all, you must remember that you are preparing a plan in which you will be the principal managers of the plan," said Malange.

 

Stop destructive fishing

By The Citizen, April 23  2014, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/oped/Stop-destructive-fishing/-/1840568/2289...

IN SUMMARY

Which is to say, we have compatriots bent on eradication off fish stock. They do that, yet their lives revolve around fishing!

Psychologists tell us that man has the inert tendency to self-destruct. You can’t but agree with them when you look at the conduct of some fishermen who engage in dynamite fishing.

One does not need a PhD in environmental science to understand the level of destruction that occurs when this method of catching fish is used, yet the practice is actually on the increase.

The practice is decimating our fish population. Furthermore, it also destroys coral reefs, which are crucial breeding grounds for fish. Which is to say, we have compatriots bent on eradication off fish stock. They do that, yet their lives revolve around fishing!

Damaged coral reefs also make diving dangerous. It means the number of tourists who would visit Tanga with loads of foreign currency just to enjoy scuba diving will avoid stay away. It means, we have compatriots who, because of their misguided desire for easy catch and quick money, are unwittingly ruining tourism industry.

Indeed, a tourist who has been a regular visitor to Tanga for the past 14 years, says out of the seven diving spots that were there ten years ago in region’s coastline, five are gone.

We need to care for our natural resources, for if we don’t, who will? Dynamite fishermen should be viewed as economic saboteurs and be duly penalised.

 

SPECIAL REPORT: How dynamite fishing threatens marine tourism in Tanga Region

A marine conservation assistant with the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park, Mr Shabaan Shemboko, shows a patrol boat that was burnt by rogue fishermen in 2011.  PHOTO | LUCAS LIGANGA 

By Lucas Liganga The Citizen Reporter. Tuesday, April 22, 2014, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/SPECIAL-REPORT--How-dynamite-fishing-th...

IN SUMMARY

While the government and the tourism industry are trying hard to gain a greater share in the international quality tourism market, it has to be acknowledged that dynamite fishing is a devastating threat to marine tourism

Tanga. A German tourist who has been visiting Tanga coastline for the past 14 years for scuba diving and snorkelling says he is alarmed by the rising dynamite fishing.

“Dynamite fishing is increasing enormously. Ten years ago I used to scuba dive in about six to seven spots in the sea, but today only two spots are suitable for diving,” says Jochen Osterloh from north of Germany.

He adds: “Coral reefs in the other diving spots have been blasted by the dynamiters. You can hear dynamite blasting almost every day. The most important thing is to stop the dynamiting immediately.”

Indeed, it is a very shocking sight for hundreds of tourists, that coral reefs are blasted to rubble right in front of their eyes when on the beach, or when snorkelling to admire the immense beauty of the underwater treasures that Tanzania could truly be proud of, if not devastated.

“From our coast and beach hotels, we can easily hear, and sometimes see between seven and eight dynamite blasts on a single day, especially during low tide and when the sea is calm. We now also get reports of blasting during full moon nights. This is a new and depressing development,” says a foreign investor who runs a tourist hotel along the Tanga coastline.

He says there can be no tourism where there is dynamite fishing, guests are scared and horrified to spend their holiday in such a disgraceful country that has no respect for its own resources.

“Some visitors have now already reported this to their travel agents back home, and written letters to newspapers about their experiences, which is very bad publicity for Tanzania as a safe travel destination that so much depends on nature conservation as a prime attraction,” he adds, requesting for anonymity saying the powerful cartel of dynamiters are very vengeful.

He says prospects are bleak in particular for the diving industry, as blasts in the vicinity of scuba divers can destroy their eardrums and lead to certain death by drowning.

“This hasn’t happened yet fortunately, but one such case will certainly produce very negative international headlines with dire consequences for the industry,” he warns.

While the government and the tourism industry try very hard to gain a greater share in the international quality tourism market, it has to be acknowledged that dynamite fishing is a devastating threat to marine tourism.

A marine scientist, who also prefers not to be mentioned fearing the vindictive dynamiters, says by blasting reefs, dynamite fishers also destroy aggregations and breeding grounds of pelagic finfish, an increasingly important source of food and high-value export.

Sadly, dynamite fishers do not only target the coral reefs, says the scientist, adding that they have now also started using dynamite to fish for tuna fish, an extremely destructive practice, during which several hundred large (20kg–60kg) tuna are killed and sink immediately to the bottom of the ocean in deep water, only to float back up to the surface a few days later, rotten and inedible.

A week-long investigation by The Citizen has found that the damage from an environmental point of view has a chain of effects.

Dynamite destroys coral reefs, which is contrary to what people normally think, it’s not a series of rocks, but it’s a congregation of living animals which create the corals (rocks) as their homes.

It is like this, these small animals filter the water and grow. Small fishes eat these small corals. Bigger fishes eat the small one eating the corals. And pelagic big fishes pass by coral reefs to eat the medium size fishes.

So it is obviously a food chain and if you destroy the first ring of the chain you disrupt all the other steps.

Because this type of fishing does not only have an effect on what it kills on the spot, but also a much wider and longer effect preventing other fishes to survive.

In January 2012, the Tanga Tourism Network Association (Tatona) wrote a letter to Tanga Regional Commissioner Chiku Galawa, entitled: Daily rampant dynamite fishing along the Tanga coast.

In its letter the association expressed concern over the situation that it said was now getting totally out of control, “and every day destroys the very base of not only our business, but also the livelihood of millions of poor Tanzanians.”

In addition, this is now even seriously tarnishing the international image and reputation of Tanzania, in the tourism industry and in the conservation world, said the letter seen by The Citizen.

The use of explosives for fishing is not known in the neighbouring countries of Kenya and Mozambique that also have long coast lines.

For example, it is known, that in Kenya, the possession, trade and use of explosives is treated as a treasonable offence that attracts the highest penalties.

The letter said coral reefs are among the most precious marine resources in Tanzania that provide both, livelihoods for a large section of coastal people (about 23 per cent of the total population), and a source of income for the local and export-oriented fishing industry, as well as the rapidly growing marine tourism industry.

As a result of dynamite fishing, many coral reefs of Tanga (and of the country as a whole) are already seriously degraded.

With numerous blasts occurring daily on reefs all along the Tanga coast already over decades, the cumulative effect has been devastating, said the letter.

A survey conducted in Tanga Region in the 1990s showed that 10 per cent of coral reefs were damaged beyond recovery, while 70 per cent had significant damage but could recover if protected.

“These figures must be much worse now. Once blasted to rubble, corals take decades, even centuries to grow back, and some reefs will never make it again as a result of continued blasting,” said the letter.

Ms Galawa acknowledged receipt of the Tatona letter in an interview with The Citizen in her office, saying lack of resources was the main reason derailing efforts aimed at curbing dynamite fishing.

“We don’t have resources. A patrol boat needs not less than 200 litres of fuel for it to patrol at least one third of the region’s coastal area,” she said.

Ms Galawa added that fighting dynamite fishing was a collective responsibility, adding however, that there was political will in the fight against the malpractice.

“Plans are afoot to convene a meeting of all coastal regional commissioners and other relevant authorities such as the police, Tanzania Revenue Authority and fisheries department to brainstorm on how to go forward,” she said.

Investigations by this newspaper have found that of the several hundred tunas that they kill using dynamite, the fishers are only able to collect a few pieces before they sink to the bottom.

As a result of only a few days of blasting, the surviving tuna schools move away from Tanga.

It has been further revealed that not only do the dynamite fishers succeed in killing several hundred tuna that are wasted, but they also succeed in ensuring that other fishers, who use legitimate fishing methods and who depend on the tunas to increase their income actually get nothing.

It is the poor artisanal fishers, who depend on handlines, basket traps and nets for their daily food and some extra cash, who are punished for using legal fishing methods, as their catches are now seriously diminishing all along the coast, as a result of the criminal activities of some few unscrupulous people, their supporters and ‘sponsors’ both in business and local government.

Stakeholders see the main reason for this shocking reality is a serious lack of law enforcement by the respective authorities at all levels, in particular also by the courts of law, where dynamiters are often acquitted or given fines that are far below the legal minimum, and released after a few days, only to continue blasting, and also threaten those law-abiding citizens who co-operate with law enforcement organs.

In Tanga Region, this situation has not always been like this. For example, between 1994-2004, the Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme has, with help of the navy, reduced blast fishing for several years.

However, after the simultaneous withdrawal of the navy around 2004, dynamite fishing quickly resurfaced to pre-project levels.

Our investigations have found that one of the brave fisheries officers suffered a vicious acid attack in April 2011 that cost him an eye and one patrol boat was burned at Kigombe, making it clear that the dynamiters have now become a force in Tanga that can openly challenge the government.

Stakeholders believe that with clear political will from the highest authorities in the country, from national to regional levels, dynamiting could be stopped even in the short-term.

They say the dynamiters are individuals who are generally known to the communities and to local government.

Speaking in terms of solutions, a foreign investor based in Kilwa District, Lindi Region, said: “We need full government commitment. It should actually become a political campaign issue.”

He added: “We always complain there is no money to solve the problem, but that is not the real issue. We forget that you can start small, instead we always want to have huge boats, huge budget otherwise we can’t move.”

He says it would be enough to be serious and arrest a few people, for real, and condemn them to 20 years in jail, and dynamite fishing would stop.

“I have seen with my own eyes dynamite fishermen blasting in front of State House in Dar es Salaam and nothing happened. I have also seen tourists taking pictures with a camera in front of State House and getting arrested. So this is total lack of commitment and priorities.”

A short term intervention of the navy would clear the seas of these thieves of the sea, then a constant use of intelligence with spot mission will completely eliminate the problem, he says.

“But we need somebody to care about it within the government. We need a pool of serious magistrates to work on wildlife crime in general, from poaching to dynamiting,” he said.

He added: “People who are prepared and understand the seriousness of such crimes and who are not taking bribes. Do it small but efficient and things will start to change.”

He said dynamite is not only extremely detrimental for the environment and for the tourism industry, but a huge danger to national security.

“With so much explosive being so easily available and with zero control, the danger for the gas platform is huge. Anyone could easily blast the whole thing up very easily and put the country to its knees. How is it possible that nobody cares in the government?” he wondered.

He said a former Kilwa District commissioner had told him that he (the DC) saw with his own eyes a fisherman throwing dynamite over the gas pipe lines from Songo Songo Island to Dar es Salaam.

 

Coastal area management vital in illegal fishing fight

By George Sembony, The Citizen Correspondent, April 22   2014 

IN SUMMARY

There were six CMAs covering the entire coastline of the three districts of Tanga, Pangani and Muheza extending to 12 nautical miles territorial water limit

Tanga. Villagers living along the coast in Tanga Region have appealed to the government to revive coastal area collaborative management area programmes (CMAPs) in a quest to stem the rising wave of illegal fishing activities along the coast, including dynamite fishing.

Speaking at the end of a fisheries stakeholders’ meeting recently in Tanga, the villagers said that past experiences in areas where villagers were actively involved in the management of the resources showed that only active participation of the locals, serious awareness education and funding initiatives would eliminate dynamite fishing and save marine life from extinction.

The meeting, which was organised by the Tanga City Council, with funding from a local non-governmental organisation, Tumaini Environmental Conservation Group (TECG), through a grant from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) through Mazingira Network (Manet), was the first in a series of meetings that would lead to the establishment of the Tanga City Coastal Resources Co-Management Plan.

The participants in the meeting included village chairmen, ward and village executive officers from 20 Tanga District coastal villages and officials from the Tanga Tourist Network Association (Tatona).

They noted that revival and maintenance of such plans resulted in reduced illegal fishing activities, hence the need to strengthen and sustain involvement of the people in the management of marine resources, the government has been urged. “The reasons for the general lack of enthusiasm from villagers to participate fully in the protection of coastal resources include dishonest  officials who were leaking information on pending patrols, lack of working tools and funds,” participants pointed out.

 

Disaster that’s dynamite fishing

An official with the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park displays an explosives made from dynamite allegedly imported from South Africa. The explosives were seized during one of patrols conducted by the marine park along the Tanga coastline. PHOTO | LUCAS LIGANGA 

By Lucas Liganga ,The Citizen Reporter, April 17  2014, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Disaster-that-s-dynamite-fishing/-/1840...

IN SUMMARY

Dynamite fishing along the Tanga coastline is out of control. The authorities have been given a list of suspects who supply the explosives and market the ill-gotten fish.

Kigombe, Tanga. Sixty-year-old Ayoub Seleman has spent half his life fishing for a living. But the father of three can no longer be guaranteed that he will be able to feed his family, let alone invest in the future.

Seleman is a resident of Kigombe, 36 kilometres west of Tanga city. He is one of 12,000 fishermen whose livelihoods are now at risk—thanks to dynamite fishing. Ten years ago, he used to catch up to 20kg of fish a day not far from his village. These days, he is lucky to reel in four kilos, which earn him nothing but pocket change.

There are over 12,000 fishermen working 3,000 fishing vessels along the 320km Tanga coastline and they watch helplessly as their catches dwindle day after day—all because some fishermen no longer want to do things the traditional way. Fishing requires patience. They would rather blow their prey out of the water.

Tens of hundreds of families that depend on the fishing industry along Tanga’s coastline are, at this rate, unlikely to meet Millennium Development Goal Number One that seeks to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 due to decreased fish catches caused by dynamite fishing.

The father of four says: “I have seen enough. I can easily hear, and sometimes see, five to six dynamite blasts in a week, especially during low tide and when the sea is calm,” the father of four says. “They explode the coral reefs which are breeding and feeding grounds for the fish,” says the fisherman. “The overall fish catch has diminished a great deal.”

The damage this kind of fishing does is not limited to what it kills on the spot. The effects are widespread and it takes a long time for the fishing grounds to regenerate. Seleman adds: “When a coral reef is destroyed, it takes 50 years or so to recover. Dynamite fishing is creating a desert in our seas. In a way, the corals can be compared with the grass on land. If there is no grass, there are no animals. Hunters cannot catch anything in the desert.”

Dynamite fishing along the Tanga coastline is out of control. The authorities have been given a list of suspects who supply the explosives and market the ill-gotten fish. The criminal gangs also make sure that any of their accomplices who are caught in the act are not convicted. They are often released within days and take revenge on those who report them, The Citizen has learned in a week-long investigation.

Seleman adds: “I have been fighting dynamite use all my fishing life but it is a hard to win because the dynamiters have well-connected godfathers.” A list of notorious dynamiters and their accomplices in the government was reportedly handed to Tanga regional authorities some time ago,” according to Seleman, “but nothing seems to have been done.”

The Tanga regional police commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) Constantine Massawe, admits having received the list and adds: “We have investigated some of the people mentioned and we have managed to arrest some. We are still working on the list.”

There are more than 60 people named, among them fishermen and owners of fishing vessels. The list includes the kind of fishing vessels they use, their landing sites and where they store the fish they have blasted out of the water.

Also on the list are village government leaders, fisheries officers, key traders and distributors and employees of cement companies—who reportedly supply some of the explosives. Our source said he was giving up his crusade against dynamite fishing after receiving threats that his house would be set ablaze.

In a recent world map of the Global Reefs at Risk initiative, Tanzania is the only African country where dynamite fishing occurs. “At one time, we arrested a notorious dynamiter and he was charged in court where he was fined Sh50,000,” said the fisherman. “We spent more than the Sh50,000 fine commuting between our village and Tanga city to file and later, follow the case proceedings.”

When the fisherman was eventually freed, he vowed to take vengence on all those who were behind his arrest and sentencing.

Officials at the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park—a park specifically created to protect the local population of prehistoric coelacanth fish once thought to be extinct—share the concern of local people.

The largest population of coelacanth in Tanzania is 40 or so and has been reported in the Tanga coastal areas of Kigombe, Mwambani and Mwarongo. Research has established that coelacanth lives as deep as 150 metres.

Anita Julius, a senior marine conservation warden at the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park, says she is worried that the remaining few prehistoric fish living within the marine park’s 552 sqkm might be affected by the dynamite blasts in future.

She adds: “The coelacanth might be safe, at least for the time being, because they live up to 150 metres deep. We have not done research to find out the impact of the blasts but they might be affected since they depend on the same marine ecosystem that has been affected by the dynamiting.”

Michael Kishosha and Shabaan Shemboko, marine conservation assistants with the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park, describe the situation as alarming. They say a patrol boat at the marine park was burnt in 2011 by people suspected to be dynamiters.

A survey conducted in Tanga region in the 1990s showed that 10 per cent of coral reefs were damaged beyond recovery while 70 per cent had significant damage but could recover if protected against future damage.

“The figures must be much worse now,” says an ecologist who does not want to be named for fear of the vindictive dynamiters. “Once blasted to rubble, corals take decades, even centuries to grow back, and some reefs will never make it back it to life again as a result of continued blasting.”

Each blast kills all fish and a lot of other living organisms within a 20-metre radius and completely destroys the reef habitat. It is a wasteful fishing method as only three per cent of the organisms killed are harvested.

Our investigations have established that most of the explosives are leaked stocks from quarries, mines, road building projects and cement factories where police apparently have little control. Some of these explosives are used for burglaries in Dar es Salaam and elsewhere in the country.

“The question is: what will stop terrorists from using dynamite as a political weapon in Tanzania, as they do it elsewhere?” the ecologist asks.

For reasons that are hard to understand, he adds, the country seems oblivious to such a possibility, with dire consequences for lives and properties. Obadia Ngogo, the Tanga-based officer in-charge of monitoring, control and surveillance in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, reckons there is a need to review the fisheries legislation to make it more effective.

“The possession, trade and use of explosives should be treated as a treasonable offence that attracts the highest penalty,” says Ngogo, whose role is to oversee fisheries resources in the sea and water bodies in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions.

Lack of political will is also to blame for the upsurge in dynamite fishing. Says an industry source who declined to be named for fear of state reprisal: “We need full government commitment. Dynamite fishing should actually become a political campaign issue.”

According to Ngogo, councillors plead with them to free dynamiters who are arrested. Councillors plead to us to free them. “They ask us why we failed to alert them on an imminent crackdown,” he adds.

Another source in the fisheries department said a dynamiter who was jailed for three years was released after only a year allegedly due to a pardon from a higher political hierarchy.

But Tanga Regional Commissioner Chiku Galawa says there is political will to fight dynamite fishing. What is lacking is resources, she argues. “Plans are underway to convene a meeting of all coastal regional commissioners and other relevant authorities such as the police, Tanzania Revenue Authority and fisheries department to brainstorm on how to go forward,” Ms Galawa said

 

Use of dynamite fishing on rise in spite of govt efforts

By  George Sembony ,The Citizen Correspondent, January 24  2014, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Use-of-dynamite-fishing-on-rise-in-spit...

IN SUMMARY

“The situation is obviously still precarious. Blasts are reported by stakeholders such as hotel owners now and then,” said a vividly disappointed Mbogo who pointed out that the continuing dynamite fishing was not only causing a threat to marine resources but also the economy by affecting tourism sport in fishing.

Tanga. Dynamite fishing is still a major threat causing sleepless nights for the fisheries patrol unit along the coastline in Tanga Region, despite efforts made by the government to control the devastating fishing practice, it has been learnt here.

Speaking in Tanga yesterday, the Head of the Patrol Unit, Mr Zebadiah Ngogo, mentioned the major reasons for persistence of the destructive fishing practice as including poor control of explosives acquired by quarrying companies at Kiomoni and Amboni in the city as well as shortage of working tools and staff in the unit.

“The situation is obviously still precarious. Blasts are reported by stakeholders such as hotel owners now and then,” said a vividly disappointed Mbogo who pointed out that the continuing dynamite fishing was not only causing a threat to marine resources but also the economy by affecting tourism sport in fishing.

He said that explosives from the companies seemed to be loosely controlled, finding their way to fishermen who use them in dynamite fishing. He said that stakeholders, including the Tanzanian Dynamite Fishing Monitoring Network, a voluntary network of marine conservationists as well as the private tourism and fisheries sectors had reported dynamite blasts.

Mr Mbogo mentioned areas with widespread dynamite blasts as Kichalikani, Kijiru in Mkinga District and Mwarongo and Mwambani villages in the Tanga City area.

He noted that while the State had spent millions in educating villagers in the Tanga coastal area, through the Irish government supported Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Project, the coastal society mindset over combating dynamite fishing was still poor.

 

Tanga Controls Illegal Fishermen

daily news, BY NESTORY NGWEGA, 21 JANUARY 2014, http://allafrica.com/stories/201401210101.html

Tanga — THE government in Tanga Region has managed to control illegal fishing, including dynamite fishing, along the region's coastal Indian Ocean waters following an intensive operation that was carried out last year with a view to eliminating the vice.

The operation, which was carried out at different times last year, apprehended about 20 suspects who were allegedly involved in illegal fishing especially those who were using dynamite and prohibited small size nets.

According to Tanga Regional Commissioner (RC), Chiku Gallawa, illegal fishing is unacceptable in the region, just like any other place in the country, because it caused a lot of environment destruction in ocean waters. It also damaged the eco-system creatures.

Giving statistics, the regional boss said that during the operation about 240 kilos of fish, which were killed by dynamite were impounded and destroyed before reaching the market.

"Dynamite fishing is dangerous not only to the environment, but also to human beings because the fishes may contain dangerous chemicals, toxins and poisons that can be dangerous to health when consumed.

"We fought illegal fishermen vigorously and succeeded to some extent in reducing the harm they cause to society. The patrols continue," she said. She further said that six water vessels which were used in dynamite fishing, 10 dynamites, 20 arrows, five guns and 60 illegal nets were impounded in Tanga, Mkinga and Handeni districts.

She said that all arrested suspects were prosecuted in counts of law where some cases have already been heard and judgements handed out and others were still continuing at different levels.

She, however, said that apart from such challenges the fishing sector was doing well though there was a slightly decline in terms of productivity last year as compared to the harvests acquired in the previous year.

Giving an example, she said that in the year 2012 about 481 tonnes of fish were harvested, but last year only 316 tonnes of fishes were landed in the region.

Some fishermen use dynamite to blast fish colonies or their breeding grounds ruining the ecological balance of the coastal area. The fishermen also use banned gear such as gillnets, monofilaments, beach seines and others.

These fishing gear have been banned mainly because they catch all sorts of fish including the young. Some fishers trap fish using Thionex or Thioden which are poisonous chemical compounds that are dangerous to human health.

The medical world is aware that apart from being potential killers, Thionex and Theoden can cause impotence in men. These dangerous fish catches are sold in the entire coastal area and farther afield.

 

Open fishing tourney thrills fans in Tanga

BY JOSEPH MCHEKADONA, 18th November 2013, http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=61675

Tanga Yacht Club

The two-day open fishing championship attracted 13 teams ended yesterday in Tanga city’s shores. The event coloured the shores of the city as boats kept struggling against the high-amplitude waves but safety was maintained to the end. Fans converged at the Tanga Yacht Club where the event was organised to see variety of fish hooked by the competitors.

Tanga Cement Company Limited was behind sponsorship that saw 70 individuals of the 13 teams display their fishing talents in the Indian Ocean shores. Speaking about the event, Tanga Cement managing director, Reinhardt Swart said the company is proud to be associated with the event for the fourth year in a row. He said the event is one of the biggest social events in the region as it attracts people of all walks of life including business communities, employees of his company and other individuals from within and outside the region.

Swart said participants at this year’s event were in 13 teams with four to six anglers each and the most attractive team was the one nick named ‘Lady Diana 3’ exclusively composed of ladies in their boat. “This time around we are lucky to have an exclusive boat with lady members. They displayed their fishing talents and added value to this event that has been organised by Tanga Yacht Club,” he said.

One of the participants, Asif Ganijee from Tanga who got nothing during the opening day of the event complained it was tougher than the previous ones because of water pollution resulted from illegal fishing. “I have been in fishing industry for more than ten years but illegal fishing by using gun powder has worsened things. Gun powder destroys fishes’ laying areas like corals and if no serious measures are not taken right now, the whole Tanga ocean area will be having no fishes,” he said. He said they have reported the matter to the authorities but so far no action has been taken.  THE GUARDIAN

 

Tanga coastline infested with blast fishing

BY PETER MOHAMED, 20th September 2013, http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=59517

Dynamite fishing along Tanga coastline

Dynamite fishing –the easiest way of killing fish for harvest, is a vice which nobody no longer has time to bother – its repercussions in society notwithstanding. 

In essence, it is an activity which almost every fisherman-at least as far as the Tanga coastline is concerned, would wish to venture into, considering the vast harvests obtained after only a single blast has been done.

Experienced fishermen testify to the fact that one act of bombing is capable of killing thousands of fish – those already due for harvest and the young ones, even the eggs.

Bomb blasts is disastrous to marine life ecosystem, in that it kills the entire breeding grounds for fish, including coral reefs-home for the fish species. In the process, corals – very delicate creatures which build up coral reefs when they die, are affected.

As matters presently stand, the activity has now taken root . In fact the perpetrators are now so free in their ill intentioned mission that they believe nobody no longer has any interest to follow –up whatever they do.

In some fishing villages, the residents doubt whether the government has muscles enough to eradicate the vice-the malpractice having taken too long to wipe out.

“Do not expect wonders, for how do you expect dynamite fishing to be brought to a control when the people whose role is to prevent the bombing and bring those responsible to book are partners in the vice? ‘says Omari Rashid, a fisherman along Kigombe sea waters.

“Previously, patrol officials were doing a good job-arresting those engaged in dynamite fishing and taking them to court. Not now’, said another fisherman in the same village in an exclusive with The Guardian at the weekend.

Fishermen in various villages along the Tanga costline waters, including Mwambani, Tongoni, Mwarongo, Maere and Chongoleani who talked to this paper on condition of anonymity say as long as government officials collude with the perpetrators in the illegal business, it is difficult to expect an end to the vice.

“Government officials, being custodians of patrol schedules, give the bandits tips wherever patrol boats are due to do surveillance on a particular day and area involved. When the bombers get the information, they refrain from going ashore”, said a 75 year old villager living at Kigombe, a notorious area for the activity.

Dynamite fishing, a get rich quick illegal venture- surfaced in the country’s sea water over four decades ago. Word has it that it is also commonly in practice in Pemba Island.

Apparently, the source of the blasting equipment is so far unknown, though some people say they are obtained from quarry dealers and others from neighbouring countries on the south.

“In the last few years, it was tolerable. One would hear a blast or two in a day. But now as many as ten blasts can be heard in a single day”, according to a retired government official – a resident of Mwarongo. He adds ‘these people are now operating fearlessly. It is as if no body is against the vice”.

A marine tourism investor, recently said a group of ten German tourists who were snorkeling and sunbathing on a shore ran to safety after they heard bomb blast very close to where they were relaxing.

Seasoned fishermen say that a single blast can kill millions of fish. Most of those killed are left to stay afloat while hardly a quarter of the loot is harvested and loaded on to boats.

Recent reports have it that illegal fishing has now been extended to harvesting of dolphins – protected tourism attraction as well as whales – the largest marine mammals in the sea.

Marine tourism stakeholders along the Kigombe sea waters whose role is to protect and develop the tourism potential and the natural ecosystems say apart from the notorious bombing of fish habitats, bandits are now turning to dolphins hunting.

Such reports were, however, recently countered by Hassan Kalombo, Tanga Deputy Regional Administrative Officer (Economy and Development).

“It is not true that dolphins are being hunted, because for what reason should dolphins which are a protected specie be endangered,” he quipped.

In the same vein, Kalombo denied the other claim that hunting of whales was already in progress.
“Whales normally live in deep seas. They seldom visit shallow waters, which means unless the fishers have very sophisticated machines, there is no way they can fish them out”, he said, adding that whales can weigh as much as 20 tons.

‘Dolphins live in tributaries and gulfs and can be eaten by humans. But on account of the fact that they are a protected specie, it is uncommon to see one going for them”, said Tuwa Juma, a resident of Maere.

Kalombo was agreeable that the prevailing wave in respect of dynamite fishing was threateningly high. “In my view, the vice is unstoppable because courts of law unleash light sentences to those convicted of dynamite fishing”, he says.

“The fisheries Act No.22 of 2003 stipulates that punishment for first offender of dynamite fishing is five years jail sentence, but our courts seem to be using the penal code which allows such offenders to escape with suspended sentences, “concluded the fisheries expert, adding that with such minor punishments, the perpetrators have no reason to abandon the otherwise lucrative business. THE GUARDIAN

Fish were caught with explosives fill market

(Translated from Kiswahili) BY OUR REPORTER, 21st July 2013, http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=57292

Residents of the city of Dar es Salaam have been told to take caution and vigilance when buying fish in the evening, due to claims that some vendors are caught using explosives. The alert comes after the Sunday Guardian long term investigations, which found that fish was sold those times to avoid being detected.

This has been learned despite a government campaign to seek out people who are involved in this fishery, still bad in the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. Places mentioned for excessive dynamite fishing are Coast Bagamoyo, Kawe in Kinondoni Municipality and Mbuyuni Kigamboni area, Temeke Municipality.

Some fishermen who managed to speak to this newspaper on condition of anonymity of their names for safety, said people involved in illegal fishing using many techniques to incorporate fish market. They said many people from starting to identify such fish, fishermen sell to places of gatherings of people in the evening without being detected easily.

DIRTY TRICKS

One of the fishermen, said another way is to put dynamited fish in freezers which makes them hard as if they were legally caught fish. "Bombed fish becomes soft due to being smashed in  the blast, their eyes also appear red due to bloody bruises," he said, adding "small fish are sold to fish there and the atmosphere on the beach."

That said, the big fish stored in the refrigerator for up to one day to freeze solid. "When hard from ice they cannot be bent, thus it is difficult to discover if it is caught with a bomb," he added.

MARKET ferry

Secretary General of the International Market Ferry Fish, Barak Hill, pointing to the issue, he said that they have managed to control the fish from entering the inner circle of the market. However, he admitted there are embedded smuggled period, but most of them are sold out of the market in particular in the Kigamboni ferry. "It's hard work because they have to confront threats characters, remaining fish we have to be careful only to enter here with us," says Hill.

It is difficult to apprehend

Some fishermen say they are difficult to capture because they have a large network. They said if there is an exercise of arrest, have reported earlier, it is easy for them to run. "There are people who collaborated with various parts, even the police officials, it becomes difficult even to mention as we can risk our lives," said one of them.

FISHERIES OFFICER speaks TEMEKE

Fisheries Officer Temeke Municipal, Teddy Chuwa he admit the existence of such a situation, where he gave a figure of more than 50 people have been arrested and taken to court. He said they have a special operation to arrest these people and lead to decrease the incidence of these species by 70 percent.

Chuwa explained that there are effects of eating fish caught with explosives yajitokezi though not fast, it warned people to not buy them. The official said in the marine environment, these bombs destroying the coral reefs that are fish hatcheries and destroy the ecology of the organisms living in the water.

TFDA talk

Public Relations Officer of the regulatory authorities of the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) Gaudensia Simwanza, pointing to the matter said, that still has not received notice to enter the market for these fish. "We are working to watch fish entering the market, but I have not received any information as such there is, let the food do I contact the department will then provide information," said Simwanza. However, he said that the fish control is carried out by the department of fisheries councils in Dar es Salaam, should exercise caution driven the fish is not easy to enter the market and sold unofficially. Nipashe / Guardian on Sunday

 

Tanga grapples with battle to contain dynamite fishing

BY ABDALLAH BAWAZIR, 15th March 2013

Destruction of coral reefs threatens the marine organisms

Before the early 1960s, cases of dynamite fishing were unheard of. By then, fishermen used traditional fishing methods -- acceptable fishing nets manufactured by local experts-specifically made to ensure that marine ecosystem was not harmed. Dynamite fishing or blast fishing is the practice of using explosives to kill schools of fish for easy collection. The vice is extremely destructive to surrounding ecosystem as explosion often destroys under lying habitat-such as coral reefs that supports the fish.

History says the illegal practice has been in existence prior to World War I. In those days, it was mostly widespread in parts of Southern Asia and Coastal Africa. In Tanzania, the vice surfaced in early 60’s. Since then, it has been difficult to control mainly on account of the fact that some unscrupulous fisheries officials are teaming up with perpetrators of the illegal practice. “Most of us living in fishing villages along the coastline, realize the hazards caused by dynamite fishing,” says  Omari Mwatuwa, resident of Chongoleani village, a settlement situated along the Tanga-Mombasa highway.

Although knowledgeable on the effects of the illegal practice, most villagers say it is difficult to expose the bandits because those who are expected to deal with the malice have themselves hand in the deal, according to a retired fisheries officer who preferred not to be named. “It is not easy. It is extremely impracticable to do anything as far as control of the vice is concerned”, said another villager, Mwasimba Kombo in an exclusive recently. “If you want to confirm what I have said, visit any market place where various species of fish are sold and you will find that scores of dynamited fish are on offer openly”.

He says “Fish killed by dynamites are easily noticed.  In fact one does not need to posses a degree in marine life to say which fish is blasted and which is not’.  Impeccable sources claim that there is currently a network linking the bandits and some patrol officials. The latter say the sources tip off the blasting team when patrol days are due, so that they refrain from going ashore on such “dangerous days.’

People within fisheries circles, believe that the officials colluding with the bandits may be doing so on noticing that courts of law have not been meting out deterrent sentences to suspects taken to court for dynamite fishing. Dynamite fishing is a deadly vice, in that it destroys marine environment, hence threatening major sources of food and income for the people living along the coast, says a retired environmental expert. “In my view, the watchers have either gone to sleep or might have been overwhelmed by the prevailing situation,” he says.

So far, hundreds of illegal fishermen have had parts of their bodies severed, particularly arms, while trying to unleash grenades into an earmarked site.  At times, the detonators explode in their hands before they are thrown out to a targeted spot. A government report issued recently says that over 100 casualties have so far fallen victim of the blasting.

Some people fear that the pipeline transporting natural gas from Songosongo in Lindi to Dar es Salaam’s power generating plants may one day be hit by dynamites. Those who showed concern with the escalating wave of dynamite fishing are worried that the trend, if not arrested in time may result in more serious shortage of fish in coastal communities. “Population growth is threateningly high.

If the present trend of blast fishing is left to flourish, definitely fish stock will drastically go down in a few years” according to Amiri Mwaduga, a resident of Tongoni. Says another,” Dynamite fishing is a serious activity, in that it threatens the economy and the livelihood of small scale fishermen who earn their income solely through fishing.”

Eighty-year old resident of Mwarongo, Sarai Shekuwe, speaks ill of those engaging in the illegal act, warning that deliberate efforts, and not mere rhetoric, are needed  to stamp out the malice. Narrating a sad incident, a stakeholder said recently that a team of tourists from Germany, who were his customers, out on a snorkeling expedition heard blasts on the shores – metres from where they were having lunch at a sand bank. “They told me that while they were there, they heard heavy blasts which caused their ears to ring for several hours after wards,” claimed the hotel owner.

Some people suggest that the young generation is made aware of repercussions arising out of illegal fishing through introduction of a topic in school syllabuses. Those who have vast experience in fishing claim that a single blast can kill over 60 percent of the fish, with most of them drowning, hence, only 40 percent is harvested. “Normally killed fish remain deep in the sea for sometime, to come afloat when they are already rotten,” says Mweri Togo, a seasoned fisherman, a resident of Mwarongo, another fishing settlement.

People who live in areas notorious for blast fishing, including Moa, Kichalikani, Kigombe, Mwambani and Mwarongo say at least ten blasts are blown out a day. THE GUARDIAN

Back fight to halt dynamite fishing 

6th November 2012 - The Guardian  

After a misleading lull, an alarm has been sounded about resurgence of dynamite fishing, this time unleashing more destruction on the marine environment and threatening major sources of food and income for the people living along the coast.

We also learn that in reality the destructive activity never stopped, only that those supposedly on watch might either have gone to sleep or might have been overwhelmed by the situation.

A government report on dynamite fishing says the activity claims about 100 casualties every year, many hit by the explosives used to kill the fish, in the process destroying their breeding grounds.

What should be borne in mind and prompt a more robust campaign against dynamite fishing is that the method is unsustainable as it kills the fish, breeding grounds and sources of food for the fish.

What is more, most of the dynamited fish is lost in the sea denying communities this abundant food, rich in protein.

Last year, we published a report speaking of the destruction caused by the illegal activity and warning that the pipeline transporting natural gas from Songosongo, in Lindi Region to power electricity generation plants in Dar es Salaam was also in danger of being hit by dynamites.

Crusaders against dynamite fishing said then that illegal fishermen and women were conducting their activities around the gas pipeline, putting the vital economic installation at risk.

But what was even more worrying were the allegations by the crusaders that their efforts to stop dynamite fishing have hit major snags, accusing local government authorities of being reluctant to cooperate with the campaigners.

Indeed they went further to allege that some of the local leaders colluded with the criminals after being given bribes.

They blamed the situation on poor enforcement of illegal fishing regulations and laws on the part of local government authorities, and lack of cooperation between and amongst the organs involved in controlling illegal fishing in the areas.

The dire situation has moved a young schoolboy who is a junior member of the Dar es Salaam Yacht Club and a keen diving enthusiast, Ryan Ogg, to organise a sponsored walk to publicise the issue of dynamite fishing along the coast of Tanzania.

He wants to donate the money raised to Sea Sense, an organization actively working at preventing dynamite fishing in Tanzania and provide advice to fishermen on more environmentally friendly fishing methods.

We are sure that all people and institutions concerned at the deteriorating situation, will give unstinted support to the young schoolboy. We owe it to our future to support this boy with a bold vision.

There is also the need to carry out a more intense surveillance of the areas identified as notorious in dynamite fishing. Reports have named Msasani, Fungu Yasini, Kimbiji, Yaleyale, Kisiju, Amani Govu and Jibondo in Dar and Coast regions; Moa, Kichelikani, Kigombe, Mwambani, Mwarongo in Tanga and Matapatapa, Njianne, Somanga, Pombwe and Jaja in Lindi region as among such regions.

The government must revisit the campaign against dynamite fishing, with a view to making it more sustainable in a bid to rid our coastline of the vice once and for all. 

Toxins, dynamite fishing threaten supply of delicious Rufiji lobsters
BY BEATRICE PHILEMON, 12th September 2012

DDT, Théodan pesticides, urea based fertiliser, dynamite and gas fishing are threatening Rufiji delta's infamous prawn supply as well as other marine resources in the sanctuary. This is despite the area being a reserved national wetland and a newly added site for protection in accordance to the Ramsar Convention which is an international agreement that provides for the conservation and good use of wetlands.

As the residents occupying the delta prepare for evacuation and relocation ahead of the expected floods and subsequent submergence of the land they now call home, their very health is reported to be endangered from the illegal use of toxic chemicals to fish in the area.

Coast Regional Commissioner Mwantum Mahiza visited Nyamisati for a meeting with villagers, land and forest officers on the matter and the ongoing illegal logging and agricultural activities that are threatening the ecosystem of the national mangrove forest. "My focus here is to caution them against invasion of the national mangrove forest for paddy production, charcoal making and overexploitation of mangrove forests for timber and log...," she explained.

It is reported that there is a steep decline of fish in the delta and surrounding islands, researchers have cautioned that if serious measures are not urgently taken to reverse the situation, dynamite fishing and the deployment of other toxins will continue to affect prawn fishing in the Rufiji delta and other marine resources too.

Prawns are an important foreign exchange earner and they flourish in the mangrove ecosystem and, hence the dire need for the villagers, who are the artisanal fishermen, to be educated on environmental conservation, the effect of illegal fishing and use of toxins in the delta and the general practices to conserve the forest and prawn sanctuary.

The supposedly reserved and protected area is also plagued with the overexploitation of mangrove for timber and charcoal to meet demands in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam regardless of the environmentally degrading and even potentially irreversible impact.

Mahiza, called on all village leaders in Nyamisati, Salale and elsewhere, to cooperate and work with the authorities from among other organs, the Zone Mangrove Management department, the Rufiji District Council and forest officers charged with conservation and protection of the forest.

"...don't involve political issues in this project...," she cautioned the local government leaders and then called on agricultural experts to train farmers on modern farming technology and methods particularly in paddy production.

Efforts are currently direct at first hand contact and engagement with villagers to sensitise them on the issue to also identify their various areas of need and to then and in the process impart modern farming methods as well as hybrid seeds that will cope with the delta's saline conditions and the on going climate change that will see the area submerged in the not so distant future.

Efforts are at this time, based on the given report not effective and a new approach or rejuvenated effort must be employed to save the delta and the prawn industry. It is first and foremost every individual villager's personal responsibility to care, nature and protect the delta as is the case for all natural resources endowed across the nation and double the charge on government policy makers as well as environment care organizations.

Located about 250 miles south of Dar es Salaam, the Rufiji River Delta is by far the largest in Eastern Africa and contains the largest estuarine mangrove forest on the eastern seaboard of the African continent. A large part of the area is covered with the salt tolerant mangrove forests covering an estimated 55,000 ha and offers shelter to migratory wetland birds and is home to a large variety of aquatic life. Even the Nile crocodiles are found in the selta as are hippopotamus, otters, and the sykes monkeys. THE GUARDIAN

Environmental Degradation Rife in Dar es Salaam
DAILY NEWS, BY BILHAM KIMATI, 30 JUNE 2012, http://allafrica.com/stories/201207020067.html

SHOCKING dynamite fishing and random sand extraction in Dar es Salaam continue to pose serious threats to the environment and possible depletion of fish as coral reefs are destroyed at an alarming rate.
Addressing participants to a two day Climate Change Adaptation seminar that brought together experts and councillors of Temeke Municipality recently, the District Commissioner of Temeke, Ms Sophia Mjema said destruction of the breeding grounds of fish through dynamites jeopardized people's lives. "Surveillance teams jointly formed by Temeke municipal authorities and Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism have encountered massive destruction of coral reefs near Koko-Beach and beyond.
It is not enough to punish perpetrators, but public education on environmental conservation is necessary. Depletion of fish will affect people's livelihoods," DC Mjema observed. Effects of climate change like floods, powerful sea waves, cyclones, high temperatures and drought, the DC added, are evident and destruction of the environment such as dynamite fishing, destruction of the mangrove forests and other related activities complicated the situation.
However, the administrator underlined the role of the community in preventing unruly acts, saying that villagers can help identify those behind dynamite fishing and indiscriminate sand collection.

Dynamite Apologists, Dealers and Fishermen - Saboteurs of Nation's Wealth and Future, DAILY NEWS, BY ANNE OUTWATER, 6 MAY 2012 http://allafrica.com/stories/201205070062.html

In order to quantify the effect of dynamite fishing a colleague and I are comparing two collections of shells. One collection was picked up from the beach very casually in two days on Mbudya in 1989. The other was noted much more carefully over a much larger area - Dar es Salaam and Pwani and all the nearby islands including Mbudya, between September 2009 to April 2012. There are more than 3,200 mollusk species found in the western Indian Ocean region. Since no guide book has them all and the scientific names are still changing, our identifications are approximate and tentative.
I think I collected one each of: Strawberry Top (Clanculus puniceus), Violet Snails ( Janthina janthina), Spider Conch (Lambis lambis, Sw.Nyangale), Hump-backed Conch (Strombus gibberulus, Sw. Chuwale mchanga), Mauritian conch (Strombus decorus, Sw.Chuwali), Moon Shell (Polinicus mammilla, Sw. Honga), Tiger Cowry ( Cypraea tigris), Isabella Cowry (Cypraea Isabella), Egg Cowry (Ovula ovum Sw.Yai), Partridge Tun (Tonna perdix), Tonna cepa, Murex trapa, Rock Shell (Chicoreus ramosus, Sw. Chofu), Dog Whelk (Nassarius coronatus), Tulip shell (Pleuroploca trapezium), Olive Shells (Oliva bulbosa), Mitre Shell (Mitra stictica), Vase Shells (Vasum turbinellus), Augur shell (Terebra crenulata), Textile Cone (Conus textile), Conus tessalutus, Conus magus, Scallop (Chlamys senatorius), Fluted Giant Clams (Tridacna squamosa), Red Cockle (Acrosterigma rubicundrum), and Nutmeg Shell (Triginostoma scalariformis).
These shells are all in good condition. Each of the tuns, which appear very fresh, and whose shells are relatively fragile, has one small hole in them. They were probably victims of carnivorous mollusks (such as the Murexes that pierce shells with radular teeth). This means that the ecosystem was so rich and plentiful on Mbudya it could support carnivorous mollusks, that is snails that eat other types of snails.
In my colleague's shell notes of 2.5 years, there was nothing that I had not seen in a few hours in 1989. On the other hand, in all her many hours of studying shells in recent years, she had never seen much of what I had so casually picked up. She "hasn't ever seen" on the beaches: strawberry tops, Isabella or egg cowries, tuns, murex, olive shells, augurs, textile cones, scallops, violet snails, fluted clams, or cockles.
This is evidence of tremendous loss. If this is what has been lost in mollusks imagine what is lost in fish, corals, sea urchins, all the richness and treasure - food and beauty and lucre - that naturally proliferates along East Africa's shores. Some of this damage is certainly due to pollution, but much of it is due the continued shredding of the marine environment in Tanzania. Not in Kenya, not in Mozambique, Tanzania in particular is being shredded by dynamite. Hundreds of years of coral growth can be destroyed in an area of 4-5 meters with one dynamite blast.
Ecosystems that had been emitting incredible food continuously for millennium, now in the space of two decades are literally shattered. Not only that... the dynamite fishing is now spreading from Tanga south to areas where it has not been heard and seen before - sure indication that there are too few fish left near home to make it s worthwhile. The results include: fish have no place to be safe, and responsible fisherman have no food to catch.
Even hermit crabs- the very creatures that would clean the beaches with their scavenging - have nowhere to live. Sea food has become very expensive and even along the coast it is no longer readily available as protein a poor person can rely on. Tanzania's future is being laid to waste. Mwalimu Nyerere said Tanzania's natural resources are meant to be used in such a way that they are delivered safely to our children's grandchildren.
In fact, when he stepped down, he left Tanzania with its very strong resource base virtually intact, and in many ways structurally improved. I want to ask him, "Why are some of your children stealing from and ruining their own grandchildren's future?" The people involved in dynamite fishing are thieving from the future by shattering the resource base. Mwalimu would correctly call them "saboteurs" and I am quite sure he would question why they are being allowed to continue in a way that so clearly undermines, now and for the future, the wealth of the nation and the health of the citizens.
Photo is from the Chumbe Island Website. I was given permission by Sibylle Riedmuller who is in charge of Chumbe and the website to use them. Coral reefs provide shelter and food for many marine creatures. Hundreds of years of growth can be destroyed by one dynamite blast in an area of 4-5 meters. 

Illegal fishing thrives in country's coastal strip

By Correspondent, 18th February 2012

Amidst public outcry from fish consumers who seem to be concerned by the escalating prices of the commodity in markets, illegal fishing continues to dominate the fishing industry, particularly along the coastal strip... The crime, commonplace within the entire 800km coastline, stretches from Tanga, moving southwards to Kilwa.

Contrary to expectations of sections of people that there is future in the industry in view of government efforts to step up strategies aimed at elimination of the vice, what is actually happening is quite the opposite. "The prevailing strategies in place, have no impact on perpetrators of the vice because people who were supposed to control and bring to book those engaged in the crime, are themselves major players." said a retired senior government official.

The official, a resident of Tongoni ward in the city, talking on condition of anonymity, said it was futile for the government to expect elimination of illegal fishing, a vice which has persisted for over four decades when morals within its own officers was quite different compared to the time when they were first employed. "At least, the way I see it, the future is bleak, unless the officials assigned to control illegal fishing stop colluding with perpetrators of the vice, " he warned.

Incidents of dynamite fishing, particularly, is now frighteningly on the increase along the fishing villages on the coastline. Impeccable reports have it that a single blast is capable of capturing a haul which can fill five or seven dhows - depending on the site where the dynamite was ignited. "Blasts carried out in deep seas are more harmful to fish population, because a part from destroying coral reefs, most of the fish blasted are not collected because once the illegal fishermen have filled their dhow, they leave the particular area, leaving a large portion of killed fish floating in the water," according to Salehe Mwinyikombo, a seasoned fisherman residing at Mwarongo village, Tongoni ward in the city.

"Patrol boats are suitable equipment for combating illegal fishing. But they can only produce the desired outcome if its operators have clean morals," he said, adding that at present, some unscrupulous government officials expected to deter the bandits from their illegal acts are best informers of the crime busters. "What happens is the bandits, most of them financially well off, are provided with up to date information with regards to patrol schedules so that they refrain from operating during patrol days."

The situation with regard to illegal fishing activities is precarious, with some people, fishing stakeholders, believing that the vice has a well planned network involving some fisheries officials, police and courts of law. It is not easy to control the vice because people involved in the sophisticated operation are individuals with financial muscle. Arrest one of the perpetrators today and tomorrow, you see him on the streets a completely innocent individual."

Some residents living at Kigombe and Mwarongo, the two neighbouring villages, claim that notorious villages where dynamite fishing is rife is Mungura, Tongoni, Mwaboza and Kichalikani. "At Kigombe, it is difficult to come across dynamite fishing activities. After all, we were the only village doing patrol under the Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme before the project wound up business a few years ago," said Yunus Omari, a resident of Kigombe, on the Tanga - Pangani road.

But it was at Kigombe that a government owned patrol boat under the Tanga Cilicate Marine Park (TCMP) was crudely set on fire by unscrupulous bandits at odd hours of the night about two months ago. The boat, a two engine vessel with 60 hose power each, was enchored along the sea shore, near the Park's offices. "It is true that the boat was set on fire by unknown bandits, but I can't say for sure where they came from. This is a matter subject to investigation by polices', confirmed Hassan Kalombo, a fisheries officer in the Tanga regional secretariat.

He said " It is through luck- that the boat engine was not involved, since it is always removed when the patrol boat is not in operation." Kalombo said in an interview that the body of the boat was not burnt, having been under water. "Those who say the perpetrators are not among the villagers of Kigombe, know what they are talking about, but what I can tell you is that bandits from any of the other villages can not operate without the collusion of people living the affected area", asserted Kalombo. "That was purely sabotage done by illwishers."

When a team of National Environemental Managerment Council (NEMC) officials, accompanied by police from Tanga city arrived at Kigombe, they witnessed over ten dhows parked outside the Marine park. "The dhows you saw near the Park's office, had been seized by patrol officials after their owners had abandoned them on fear of arrest and so they ran away," said Kalombo.

The dhows owners were suspected to be those operating by using banned fishing nets which are common among small scale fishermen. "The arm of the law only reaches the small timers. Those who can not afford sophisticated fishing year, including dynamites. Otherwise, the big timers will never be touched," quipped a 35 year old fisherman at Kigombe. Whereas courts of law have been blamed for meting out sentences which do not, in any way, deter the alleged culprits, the judicial officials on their part, attribute failure to met heavy punishment to alleged offenders to lack of credible evidence. THE GUARDIAN

 

Tanga RC declares war on dynamite fishing

By Correspondent, 8th February 2012

Tanga region commissioner Chiku Gallawa has directed Tanga,Mkinga and Muheza district authorities at different levels to come up with short- and long-term strategies aimed at combating dynamite fishing. She said at the regional level the government had already devised a strategic plan to combat the illegal fishing practice, but added that regional efforts had to be complemented by district, ward and village efforts.

She said it was saddening to note that dynamite fishing was on the increase in Tanzania, particularly in Tanga region's coastal areas, while in neighbouring the malpractice had been contained. "Dynamite fishing is not practised in neighbouring countries; it is only done in Tanzania. This is shame to our nation and our region. We must work together to combat this illegal fishing practice," she stressed.

Officer in charge of Kigombe Marine Park  Sylivester Kazimoto said his office, in collaboration with marine police, had been undertaking patrols, but they could not carry out regular patrols for lack of funds for fuel and shortage of staff. He was however optimistic that following the intervention by the government and other stakeholders, efforts to combat the menace would succeed.

Meanwhile, Gallawa has warned the residents to stop selling their land, especially on the sea front, saying they might in the end find that they were left with no land for themselves. She said in spite of the government's policy to welcome investors, land should be seen as a valuable tool to the local people's development.

She said some investors had been rushing to grab pieces of land from wananchi, buying them at very low prices for the purpose  of putting up tourist hotels and other economic ventures, but warned that the greed for money would leave the locals with no land of their own. THE GUARDIAN

 

Limited budget holds back fight against dynamite fishing

By Gerald Kitabu, 17th January 2012

This week the interviewed OPTATUS BENNO KALOLELA, a marine conservation assistant in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development on the effects of dynamite fishing along the Indian Ocean. Excerpts:

QUESTION: Before getting into details of dynamite fishing, how does life look like in the sea?

ANSWER: the sea is a good habitant of many living things. Most of them live and feed in salt water. A good example is fish, sea grass, mangrove trees, corals, coral reefs and a lot of different species. Sea grass are used as a source of food for fish, reducing the impact of sea erosion and gives the sea special features for tourism attraction and research studies.

Q: What exactly are coral reefs?

A: They are living organisms with a tendency of accumulating together during their life. When corals die, they make hard structures like stones called coral reefs. These structures are good habitat and spawning site for fish. The corals are food for fish and other different species living in the salt water. However, coral reefs are good protectors of sea from erosion as they reduce the speed of water direct to the beach and cliff. They are also good attraction for tourism.

Q: What is the relationship between the coral reefs and fish in the sea?

A: The two have very close relationship. For example, the coral reefs are breeding sites for fish. However, in recent years, many coral reefs have come under severe attacks from dynamite fishing which is an illegal activity. Many people involved in this type of activity are those living near the sea.

Q: What is dynamite fishing?

A: It is an illegal fishing that uses explosive devices that kill fish and other creatures under the sea. It is done by ignorant people who believe that it is the best way of catching fish while in actual fact they cause destruction of breeding grounds. However, dynamite fishing depletes mangrove trees which in turn accelerate sea erosion.

Apart from destroying beach environment, dynamite fishing is not well handled, can kill someone or cause disability if it explodes before the estimated time.

Further more, dynamite fishing destroys some fish species which do not want disturbances like the coelacanth and cause desert in the sea.

 Q: What can be done to fight dynamite fishing?

A: We can control all sorts of dynamite fishing by providing education to both fishermen and the public. However, there is a need to review the laws governing fisheries and impose severe penalty for anyone caught using dynamites. The government can form an intelligence unit to gather information. Another thing is patrols.

Although it requires massive resources, the government can work out plans to ensure constant patrols along and in the Indian Ocean.  The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development has the  responsibility to conduct education campaigns on the effects of dynamite fishing and create awareness among the public on the use of better fishing tools. 

Q: Which are the most affected areas along the Indian Ocean?

A: An investigation shows that the most affected is along the indian Ocean especially Islands of Kendwa, Makatube, Sinda, Bongoyo, Mbudya and Funguyasini.

Other areas include Kijiwemtu, Kijiwesimba, Mbutu, Gezaulole, Gomvu,Changayahela and in the shallow waters at Kikuli and Karage. 

Q: What are the challenges?

A: One of the challenges is that the ministry has not yet given dynamite fishing the required weight to combat it. Limited budgetary allocation for patrol to reach and cover many parts of the sea.

Q: What is your advice?

A: The government through the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development should ensure that it gives priority to dynamite fishing, by reviewing laws, strengthening patrols and education campaigns if we have to fight out dynamite fishing and make the sea a better place for aquatic animals and other living things. THE GUARDIAN

 

Illegal fishing killing factories   http://dailynews.co.tz/home/?n=26541&cat=home
By DAILY NEWS Reporter, 19th December 2011


FISH-processing factories in the country are on the verge of closing for lack of adequate fish supplies, it has been said. Illicit fishing, which is said to have reached a crisis point around the country, has led to the depletion of fish population, triggering the current shortage that has left the factories yawning.

Dynamite fishing, where explosives are used to kill schools of fish for easy collection, and catching of immature fish have depleted the lakes and seas, according to Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) fisheries units in Mwanza and Kilwa Kivinje. Kilwa-South legislator Suleman Bungara said illegal fishing is worsening along the coastal areas, mainly in Nyuni and Ukuza in Kilwa.

Illegal fishing is also rampant in other places such as Mgao, Naumbu, Msimbati in Mtwara, Nyororo, Bima, Simaya in Mafia and Boma, Monga, Tongoni in Tanga area. "Some days ago I received information from local leaders that villagers and local security people had seized a huge haul of fish obtained through dynamite fishing at Kilwa Kivinje port. "The fish were being loaded on a lorry at midnight ready for transportation to Dar es Salaam for processing and distribution," said Bungara.

Mr Bakari Arobaini, Kilwa-Kivinje Ward Councillor, pointed an accusing finger at some dishonest fish-processing companies, saying they were encouraging illegal fishing syndicate, through providing illegal fishermen with fishing gears, food, money and other necessary tools. "Illegal fishermen tend to hide themselves in camps, very far from villages... at times, they may stay in camps for months, but they get support (in terms of food, money and fishing gears) from fish-processing companies," said the councillor.

Mr Wilhelm Mulinda, an environmental activist based in Mwanza, said illegal fishing was rampant in Lake Victoria and it was being done under watchful eyes of the authorities. "I am saying it because a landing place like Igombe has its own Beach Management Unit and is also visited by officers from the fisheries unit regularly. Mwanza and Tarime are flooded with immature fish and nothing is done," he said.

The Director of Tanzania Fish Processors Ltd, Mr Ganeshen Vedagiri, told members of parliament recently that the fishing industry in Tanzania was facing serious shortage of raw materials, fuelled by uncontrolled illegal fishing. "Currently, we (Tanzania Fish Processors Ltd) process 18 to 20 tonnes of fish per day, when our production capacity is 120 tonnes per day.

Our production during the year 2006 was over 55 tonnes a day, which is declining year by year...the government must put in place measures to stop illegal fishing, otherwise the sector will die a natural death," said Mr Vedagiri. He also indicated that eventual closure of the processing factories would boost artisanal fishermen, who will benefit from illegal trade and export to regional markets.

Mr Vedagiri wondered as to why the authorities were not doing anything to curb illegal fishing as if they were waiting to celebrate the closure of the factories.

 

Illegal fishing still problem in Tanga Region

By Lulu George, 1st December 2011

Illegal fishing is still practised in Tanga region, according to a city official. Speaking at a consultative meeting recently, Tanga city fisheries officer Evarest Kalolo said some illegal fishnets had been impounded and 14 fishermen been taken to court for illegal fishing. Kalolo noted that there were some dishonest fishermen, who used poison, small size fishnets and explosives.

He said the district council had continued fighting against illegal practices in exploiting marine resources. "The council continues fighting against these practices. We conduct about 40 patrols day and night. We call upon people to cooperate with us and give us information," said Kalolo. The most affected areas for illegal fishing in Tanga region are Mkinga and Pangani districts. THE GUARDIAN  
 
Government gets tougher on dynamite fishing
BY CORRESPONDENT, 4th November 2011
 
Omari Shemahonge, is a frequent buyer of fish at the Sahare fish collection centre in Tanga City. He normally buys the commodity from fishmongers who arrive at the centre as early as six o’clock in the morning. The traders make sure that they are there when the first dhow arrives from fish expedition which normally set off for the sea the previous night.
 
Equipped with a lantern and a spare container for kerosene, fishermen spend the whole night ashore, trying their luck in places where they think fish may be available. Shemahonge, an 80 year old retired blacksmith, previously employed by former Cargo Handling Services – now Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), almost always complains of the spiraling prices of fish at the market. “I usually go there with a 2,000/- note. But what is given to me is just two or three small fish” says Shemahonge, who hails from Makorora location. Back home, the relish is cooked and used for lunch with nothing left for evening meal.
 
The scenario constantly creates squabbles with his wife, Mama Mwantumu, who always tells his husband that the consignment he buys at the market does not, in any way, suffice for both lunch and supper. In view of the high prices of fish at Sahare, Shemahonge has now decided to buy fish only once a week. “I can’t manage buying fish as often as I used to”, says the old man, adding” In the past few years, I used to visit Sahare market almost every day, but not now.” 
 
Unfortunately, Shemahonge does not seem to know why fish prices have, for some time now, been on the rise. “What I know is that fish catches depend on the weather. If there is too much wind and the sea is stormy, fish prices will be affected,” asserts the old man. It is to be expected that whenever fish buyers go for purchases, even in town markets, they are always given the same reason. This is because when fishmongers buy the commodity from fishermen, they clearly know that some of the products they buy were killed by dynamites. “They are well aware that if they reveal that some fish were dynamited, the buyers would refrain from purchasing such lot ,” reveals Hussein Magongo, another regular buyer of fish at Sahare.
 
The Sahare fish receiving station, like the Deep Sea centre, a stone throw from the Tanga City Council, is an area full of filth. In most cases, one would notice a large consignment of small fish known as “uduvi”, a yellowish specie, bought mostly by low income wananchi, spread on the sandy beach to dry.
 
A fishmonger who was also complaining of the spiraling prices of fish, Hamdan Bakari said: “prices of fish are now out of reach of most of us. In fact I doing this business only out of routine, but it is no longer profitable”. He said the real cause of the scarcity is dynamic fishing practices which, according to him, the government had failed to control. “It is simply impossible to wipe out the vice, for how do you expect it to stop when the same people in government machinery are partners in the illegal undertaking?” he asked.
 
He said over-fishing using illegal gear, including fishing net with small holes was rampant. ‘The problem with this type of nets is that they destroy the entire fish population in a particular area, irrespective of their age, from eggs to juvenile fish and other living organisms’. Bakari (70) said he started business as fishmonger at the age of 22, saying some few decades ago fish was available in large quantities and affordable in large to ordinary consumers. 
 
“The real culprits are people with financial muscle who conduct the illegal business with impunity on grounds that they tame not only patrol teams but also some unscrupulous government officials,” he revealed. “Tips are given beforehand that on such day, patrol would be carried out on the sea. With such information, how do you expect that one day the illegal practice will be controlled?”
 
Experts say that dynamite fishing is harmful to humans because some toxic remnants of chemicals used to manufacture the bombs are a health hazard. Dynamite fishing is also dangerous to marine life, including coral reefs which are breeding grounds for fish. Coral reefs are among the most critical marine resources in Tanzania as they support livelihoods for over eight million people living on the coastal line. Although illegal and highly dangerous, dynamite fishing continues to be in practice along most of the Tanzania coast- from Tanga to Kilwa and Pemba. THE GUARDIAN 
 
What hit dynamite fishing campaign?
BY EDITOR, 10th October 2011
 
Once again the issue of dynamite fishing has reared its ugly head, this time in a more vicious and threatening manner. Not only are marine species in danger of wanton destruction, but so is the pipeline transporting natural gas from Songosongo, in Lindi region to power electricity generation plants in Dar es Salaam.
 
Crusaders against dynamite fishing say illegal fishermen and women are now conducting their activities around the gas pipeline, putting the vital economic installation at risk. They warn that if not checked the blasts might cause explosion of the pipeline and inflict further misery on the millions of Tanzanians, who are presently struggling to get out of protracted power crisis.
 
According to Mohamed Ibrahim Mgeni, one of the leaders of Somanga’s Beach Management Unit (BMU) if the central and local government authorities do not step in to halt rampant dynamite fishing in Somanga Ndumbo, Cheketu, Nyamatungutungu, Somanga Mtama villages in Kilwa District, the gas pipeline may explode.
 
The alarm was raised at a forum organised by the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), who brought together crusaders against dynamite fishing in the coastal regions to share their experience in the campaign. 
 
Somanga’s BMU chairman, Omari Bakari Nguyu says efforts by crusaders out to stop dynamite fishing have hit major snags, accusing local government authorities of being reluctant to cooperate with the campaigners. Not only are they refusing to cooperate, but it is alleged that some of the local leaders collude with the criminals after being given bribes.
 
Omari Bushiri, a local government leader and campaigner against illegal fishing from Tanga municipality unveiled shocking statistics on dynamite blasts in different parts of the coastal region over the last several years. He said more than 195 blasts occurred in 1994, 20 blasts every month in 2007, 40 blasts monthly in 2011.
 
He blamed the situation on poor enforcement of illegal fishing regulations and laws on the part of local government authorities, and lack of cooperation between and amongst organs involved in controlling illegal fishing in the areas.
 
According to Deodatus Mfugale JET Chairman dynamite fishing is done openly in Msasani, Fungu Yasini, Kimbiji, Yaleyale, Kisiju, Amani Govu and Jibondo in Dar and Coast regions; Moa, Kichelikani, Kigombe, Mwambani, Mwarongo in Tanga and Matapatapa, Njianne, Somanga, Pombwe and Jaja in Lindi region.
 
What is more, fishermen can now make their own explosives and don’t have to source industrial dynamite, he said. Needless to say, these reports from the crusaders deserve an immediate response from the government. Specifically the government needs to act promptly to secure the pipeline before a bigger disaster befalls the nation.
 
The stakeholders led by the government, drawing further on the reports of the crusaders, must revisit the campaign against dynamite fishing, with a view to making it more sustainable in a bid to rid our coastline of the vice once and for all.
 
It is a shame to hear that Tanzania is the only country along the Indian Ocean with a problem of dynamite fishing, when a number of initiatives have been launched to end the menace. They say forewarned is forearmed. THE GUARDIAN 
 
Dynamite fishing threatens gas pipeline
BY CORRESPONDENT, 6th October 2011
 
Dynamite Fishing 
Dynamite fishing
Dynamite fishing at Songosongo in Lindi Region threatens to disrupt the pipeline transporting natural gas from the area for power generation in Dar es Salaam. Blasts are reported to have reached a critical stage in the area and other coastal areas across the country, putting lives of marine creatures and people in jeopardy. “The fishermen conduct their activities near the gas pipeline,” Mohamed Ibrahim Mgeni, Somanga Beach Management Unit (BMU) leader informed a workshop in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
 
The workshop was organised by the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) to discuss the rising case of dynamite fishing. If the government authorities do not step in to halt the illegal activity at Somanga Ndumbo, Cheketu, Nyamatungutungu, Somanga Mtama in Kilwa District, the gas pipeline could explode, he said.
 
Declining fish species in the high seas have forced the remaining ones to hide under the pipeline, he said, adding that illegal fishermen now search for fish around the latter area with the aid of dynamites. Once it explodes, its adverse impact would not be felt by the 5,000 to 10,000 people living around the pipeline, but millions of Tanzanians who depend on it for power generation.
 
Somanga BMU chairman Omari Bakari Nguyu said efforts by crusaders to stop illegal fishing have hit a snag, saying local government authorities are reluctant to support them. “Some local leaders are colluding with the criminals and do not want to involve us (BMU) in the village development plans, including in the fight against illegal fishing,” Nguyu said.
 
For his part, Omari Bushiri, a local government leader and a campaigner against illegal fishing from Tanga city said more than 195 blasts occurred in 1994, 20 every month in 2007 and 40 blasts monthly this year, blaming poor enforcement of fishing regulations and laws.
 
JET chairman Deodatus Mfugale said dynamite fishing is today done openly at Msasani, Fungu Yasini, Kimbiji, Yaleyale, Kisiju, Amani Govu, Jibondo (Dar, Coast), Moa, Kichelikani, Kigombe, Mwambani, Mwarongo (Tanga), and Matapatapa, Njianne, Somanga, Pombwe, Jaja (Lindi).
 
Due to lack of enforcement, he said every youth in the areas takes to dynamite fishing as an acceptable means of livelihood, noting: “Fishermen can now make their own explosives and don’t have to depend on industrial dynamite.” 
 
He explained that dynamite fishing is more than an environmental problem. “In April this year, dynamite fishermen attacked a surveillance officer in Tanga with acid. He is now blind. In August, a patrol boat in Tanga was torched by dynamite fishermen. In 2009, a patrol boat donated by EU to Somanga ward was destroyed by pro-dynamite fishing activists,” he said.
 
Asked for comment yesterday, deputy Energy and Minerals minister Adam Malima, thanked this paper for the news, vowing the government would protect the pipeline at all costs. “We have government authorities there. We are aware that dynamite fishing is illegal, but if it goes to the extent of destroying the gas pipeline --- that is destroying our very lives. We are going to instruct government authorities in the area to take action immediately,” he said. THE GUARDIAN 
 
Why Tanzania is losing the war against dynamite fishing menace
BY CORRESPONDENT, 6th September 2011
 
Dynamite fishing, a get rich quick but illegal venture, surfaced in the country’s waters over four decades ago. Nobody can say for sure when the illegal activity took off and why, though some people associate it with population growth. What is, however, worrying is the fact that the gravity of the crime notwithstanding, the bandits have, all along, been regarded as heroes in society.
 
Most people living along fishing villages realize the hazards caused by dynamite fishing. Such people include fish mongers. If such is the case, why then do they seem to cherish the unlawful act? Why do they embrace the perpetrators? “It is not possible to expose the practitioners because, to most villagers, the bigger the catch the cheaper the commodity,” according to Mwinyi Omari (80) a resident of Mwarongo village, Tongoni area in Tanga city.
 
Big catch, particularly those involving small fish and sardines killed through blasting, are normally loaded into carts conveyed by donkeys and sold openly in households through cities’ or towns’ streets. But what is baffling is the fact that fish killed by dynamites are easily noticed. In fact one does not need to hold a degree in fisheries.
 
Such fish bear clear big scratches in their bodies. Why then are fisheries officials and their assistants, as well as environmental conservationists, failing to identify the anomalies and deal with the fishmongers as appropriate?
 
‘What does the law say?
 
Doesn’t it require fisheries officers to constantly visit sea shores and markets to ensure products sold to consumers carry the requisite quality for sale?” questioned Antony Andrea, retired government official. But some villages doubt whether the vice will be contained in the foreseeable future. “It is difficult to wipe out the malice because some officials who are supposed to confront the practitioners in the vice, have joined hands in the activity,” says a villager residing at Chongoleani, a fishing village on the Tanga –Mombasa road.
 
The villager’s view is echoed by a government official working in the education sector in Tongoni Ward. “How do you expect officials engaged in the fisheries department, not only here, but also in other places, to harass the perpetrators of the vice when their incomes hardly satisfy their domestic needs? he queried. “There is already a network linking the bandits and some of patrol officials. The latter normally tip off the blasting team when patrol days are due so that they refrain from going ashore on such “dangerous” days.’
 
Some people believe that the officials colluding with the bandits may be doing so on noticing that courts of law have not been meting deterrent sentences to suspects taken to court for dynamite fishing. “The law says a person convicted for illegal fishing faces an instant penalty of 500,000/-, but in most cases the bandits have escaped with light sentences. How do you expect such people to abandon the vice when the punishments have no impact to them?” asked a retied fisheries officer who decided to remain anonymous.
 
With the government’s resolve to eradicate poverty, through its various developmental strategies, much remain to be desired, as far as eradication of the vice is concerned. But some people are of the view that in order for the practitioners to abandon the crime, the government should devise ways to help them through formation of small scale ventures. “Those engaged in illegal fishing need to be assisted through establishment of small scale development projects so that they may abandon what they are presently doing” according to Amir Mshihiri, a city resident.
 
“Population growth is threateningly high. If the present trend of dynamite fishing is left to flourish, in a few years, fish stock will have drastically been depleted, “says Mshihiri. He adds: “Perhaps the best way is to ensure that the young generation is made aware of the repercussions of illegal fishing through inclusion of the topic in school syllabuses.”
 
Dynamite fishing is a serious activity in that it threatens the economy and the livelihood of small scale fishermen who earn their income through fishing. An 85 year’s old resident of Tongoni, another fishing village on the Tanga –Pangani road, speaks bad of those engaging in illegal fishing, warning that deliberate efforts and not words, were needed to wipe out the deadly vice. “Many people are not aware that the acts of those engaging in illegal fishing now will have disastrous effects on future generations, he asserted, saying most of them were driven by the motive for quick money.
 
Another resident of the same village, Kombo Ali, says normally bandits carry their activities in deep sea. Kombo says when a single blast is released, over 60 per cent of various fish species die with most of them drowning - hence only 40 per cent is harvested. “The killed fish remain deep in the sea for sometime and later come afloat when they are already rotten”.
 
Observers say, in some places notorious for dynamite fishing along the coastal line, at least ten blasts are blown out a day. When blasts are made, coral reefs, breeding habitation for fish, are extensively damaged, leaving fish desperate and homeless. Corals, extremely fragile creatures, are organisms which, when they die, form coral reefs. The creatures are most vulnerable, ostensibly caused by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide - itself responsible for temperature rise.  THE GUARDIAN 
 
Government intensifies fight against illegal fishing
Daily News, By LUDOVICK KAZOKA, 7th May 2011
 
A TOTAL of 607 suspects suspected with illegal fishing were arrested with 1,309 kilogrammes of different marine species between July 2010 and February 2011.  Handing over 12 patrol speed boats worth 941m/- to five municipalities at Mbegani Fisheries Development College (MFDC) in Bagamoyo on Friday, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr David Mathayo, said the 24 cases on illegal fishing had already been filed to courts of law. “This demonstrates that the problem is still huge and the fight to combat illegal fishing should be strengthened,” said the minister. 
 
The speed boats were handed over to municipalities situated along the coast and different government departments implementing the Marine Coastal Environment Management Project (MCEMP). The six year MCEMP’s initiative sponsored by the World Bank and The Global Environmental Facility aims at improving regulatory and institutional framework management of marine resource, largely establishing the links between the marine environment and fishery resources. 
 
“The presence of the patrol boats at fishing areas will tremendously help to curb the illegal fishing problem,” stated Dr Mathayo. The beneficiary municipalities are Mkinga, Pangani, Bagamoyo, Mkuranga and Lindi, while government departments include Marine Parks and Reserve Unit plus the Mangrove Management Unit, which are under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. 
 
He said through the project, the government had built capacity to the communities living along the coast in order for them to benefit from the fishery resources without harming the environment, saying the communities have been trained to carry out sustainable fishing. Dr Mathayo warned over the misuse of the boats, saying the government would not hesitate to take back a boat from any municipality or department which would misuse it, adding that the boat would be given to another municipal. 
 
Mkuranga District Executive Director, Ms Sipora Liana, on behalf of other municipalities, thanked the government for the support, saying the boats were a big boost to the ongoing campaign against illegal fishing.
 
Spots notorious for illegal fishing exposed in Temeke 
22 April 2011, By Lucas Liganga, The Citizen Chief Reporter
 
Dar es Salaam. Temeke District authorities in Dar es Salaam Region said yesterday they have identified hotspot areas off the city’s coastal line where dynamite fishing is carried out. “We have identified areas that are notorious for dynamite fishing, and we are now organising a surprise operation to net the masterminds of the malpractice,” said the Temeke district commissioner, Ms Chiku Galawa. Ms Galawa told The Citizen in a telephone interview that the identification of dynamite fishing hotspots was done last week by the district authorities in collaboration with the police and the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF).
 
She added that during the identification process, residents in the affected villages of Ngobanya, Kizito, Mbutu and Puna in Kimbiji Ward also offered pertinent information regarding a syndicate of the illegal fishermen.  “What follows is action,” she said, declining to give more information. She said that doing so might have alerted the network of those involved in the practice. However, Ms Galawa added that the district authorities would continue to work closely with villagers because the identification of dynamite fishing hotspots was a continuous process.
 
The chairman of the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), Mr Deodatus Mfugale, said yesterday that a team of journalists from the association had started investigations to find out the extent of dynamite fishing off the country’s coastal line. “We are currently in Tanga from where we would proceed to Lindi, Mtwara and Dar es Salaam regions where dynamite fishing is reported to be on the increase,” he said when reached by phone. 
 
Following reports of rampant dynamite fishing along the Dar es Salaam coast, TPDF offered to patrol the area a fortnight ago. Ms Galawa said the TPDF offer came during a meeting of the Dar es Salaam region’s defence and security committee meeting. “Since TPDF is a member of the regional defence and security committee, it offered, during the meeting, to assist in patrolling the coastal waters,” she said.  “We have realized that some local government authorities are major hindrance towards the fight against dynamite fishing because they collude with the offenders,” said the district commissioner. “Our patrols are intended to pinpoint weak points (areas that are infamous for dynamite fishing) and organize ourselves in arresting the situation,” she said.
 
The minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries, Mr David Mathayo, said: “I am aware that dynamite fishing is a serious problem. But I have a message to the offenders that their days are numbered.” Mr Mathayo said the government would very soon conduct a special surprise operation along the country’s coastal line from Mtwara, Tanga to Dar es Salaam whose aim would be netting the fishermen. “We are about to launch a 45-day special operation in Lake Victoria, after which we would move to the Indian Ocean coastline,” he said, declining to give more details. He said doing so amounted to alerting the culprits of their activities.
 
The minister said the offenders were even daring to use dynamite in ecologically fragile and protected areas for breeding fish. Following a survey by this newspaper that revealed widespread dynamite fishing, the acting Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Mr Said Meck Sadick, had promised to discuss the malpractice during the defence and security committee which he chairs. The survey further revealed that dynamite fishing along coastal areas in Dar es Salaam was getting out of control again after former Livestock and Fisheries minister John Magufuli clamped down on the practice in 2009 and 2010. 
 
More effort needed to end dynamite fishing 
The Citizen, 11 April 2011 
 
Tanzania is lucky to have many coral reefs that support extensive fishing besides attracting tourists. However, this natural endowment is endangered by dynamite fishing that abounds in large scale. Besides killing and injuring fish, it leaves behind rubble and broken corals on the sea floor, destroying the habitat for all reef species. Dynamite fishing is an old practice that has been common since the 1960s, and by the mid-1990s it became a matter of serious concern to environmentalists. 
 
A high-profile national campaign involving hotel operators and the media brought international pressure and donor attention to this wanton destruction. This campaign, along with close community and peer group control, succeeded in curbing dynamite fishing to near zero levels between 1997 and 2003. However, by the end of 2003 the practice had resumed with a vengeance. One reason dynamite fishing is rampant is that explosives come cheap and easily accessible to fishermen. 
 
Bombs are usually sourced from mining, demolition and road construction enterprises or made at home from fertiliser and diesel. The result is that large amounts of fish and their eggs are destroyed, thus leaving no prospects of fish stocks increasing.  One blast can lead to a catch of up to 400kg of fish and a profit of US$1,800 in market sales, a lucrative short-term profit despite the long-term destruction left behind.
 
It seems efforts to solve the problem of dynamite fishing will be with us for a long time indeed, unless more serious measures are taken to bring it to an end. Last weekend the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) offered to give more support in effort to end dynamite fishing. In offering to bring to an end to this menace, the TPDF is carrying out the noble duty of preserving the environment. That is what any people oriented military should be doing in times of peace. As they say, the military it is not just about war; is also about protecting the people and their heritage.
 
Military steps in to combat dynamite fishing 
10 April 2011, By Lucas Liganga, The Citizen Chief Reporter
 
Following reports of rampant dynamite fishing off the Dar es Salaam coast, the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) has offered to patrol the area, The Citizen has learnt. The Temeke district commissioner, Ms Chiku Galawa, said yesterday the TPDF offered to patrol the sea, during a meeting of the Dar es Salaam region’s defence and security committee meeting last week. “Since TPDF is a member of the regional defence and security committee, it offered to assist in patrolling the Dar es Salaam waters during the meeting,” she said in a telephone interview.Ms Galawa said the Temeke District authorities would, beginning today, also launch sea patrols to last one week with a view to identifying areas notorious for dynamite fishing.
 
“We’ve realised that some local government authorities are a major hindrance in the fight against dynamite fishing because they collude with the dynamiters,” said the DC. “Our patrols are intended to identify weak points, that is, areas that are notorious for dynamite fishing, and see how we can organise ourselves to arrest the situation,” she said.
 
Reached by phone in Dodoma for comment, the Minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries, Mr David Mathayo, said: “I’m aware dynamite fishing is a serious problem. But I’ve a message to the dynamiters: their days are numbered!” Mr Mathayo said the government will very soon conduct a special operation on the country’s Indian Ocean waters, from Mtwara, Tanga to Dar es Salaam with he express to catch dynamiters. “We’re about to launch a 45-day special operation in Lake Victoria, after which we’ll move to the Indian Ocean,” he said, declining to give details, on the ground that doing so would amount to alerting the culprits.
 
The minister said the dynamiters were so thoughtless they blast even the ecologically fragile and protected areas, which are the breeding grounds for fish. Following a survey by this newspaper revealing widespread dynamite fishing, acting Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Said Meck Sadick last week promised to discuss the matter during a meeting of the defence and security committee which he chairs.
 
The Citizen survey further revealed that dynamite fishing along the Dar es Salaam coastal areas resurfaced, after a respite in the wake of former Livestock and Fisheries minister John Magufuli’s clampdown on the practice in 2009 and 2010. “Dynamite fishing is harmful to people because some remnants of chemicals used to make the bombs are toxic,” said the RC, adding: “Dynamite fishing is also dangerous to marine life, including coral reefs that are breeding grounds for fish. We shall not entertain this malpractice.”
 
The survey by this newspaper established that dynamite fishing continues unabated in the coastal villages of Ngobanya, Kizito, Mbutu and Puna in Kimbiji Ward.Ngobanya Village executive officer Kolela Magai admitted during an interview on Monday that hardly a day passes without one hearing dynamite blasts in the sea. “Those involved are sometimes arrested, but you soon see them back in business after a short while,” said Mr Magai, adding that the destructive practice was difficult because the perpetrators were politically well connected.
 
Kizito Village chairman Rajab Bakari also admitted that incidents of dynamite fishing in his area were common because fighting the vice called for a “good chain of defence and security command. ”Although illegal and highly dangerous, dynamite fishing continues in most of the Tanzanian seawaters, especially off Tanga, Bagamoyo, Dar es Salaam, Mafia, Rufiji, Kilwa and Zanzibar, particularly Pemba. Activists have warned that if no immediate action is taken, dynamite fishing might usher in serious consequences in a number of areas, including marine environment and tourism.  
 
Rising dynamite fishing cases amid diminishing returns
Daily News, By Correspondent DEODATUS MFUGALE, 5th April 2011 
 
EVEN for a habitual “dynamite fisher” like Adam Khatib, landing a catch of five kilos from a day’s work is embarrassing and humiliating, to say the least. One could easily read the message on his face as he disembarked from his canoe. And this, the low catch of five or less small fish caught through illegal dynamite fishing, is not an isolated case. It has become common in recent years, a sure indication that dynamite fishing is no longer the cash cow that used to be in yesteryears. 
 
Yet cases of dynamite fishing in Tanga Region are on the rise although the amount of fish landed from this illegal method is becoming smaller, especially among the case of small-scale fishers. “Between 2006 and 2007, we recorded an average of 69 dynamite blasts per month. Between 2008 and 2009 there were eight blasts per moth and only three blasts per month were recorded between 2009 and the last three quarters of 2010. However the situation has changed and we have recorded 18 blasts per month during the last quarter of 2010 up to February this year,” explains Silvester Givver, District Fisheries Officer for Mkinga District in Tanga region. 
 
He was speaking to a group of journalists from the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) about the problem of dynamite fishing in Tanga Region and indeed in the whole of Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast. It is a serious one and there seems to be no lasting solution in sight. Various authorities and institutions have taken measures in a bid to end the crime but none has provided a lasting solution to the problem. 
 
“At the time when the rate of dynamiting was low, we used to conduct 14 patrols a month. But we could not maintain the trend because we ran short of funds. Now we are conducting only one patrol a moth and this shortcoming is reflected by the rising number of dynamiting incidences recorded in the last six months,” Givver told the journalists. 
 
Selemani Hussein Kapera who is the chairman of Mwambani Village Environmental committee concedes that incidences of dynamite fishing have gone up. ”We hear between 10 and 15 blasts everyday. 
 
This is for Mwambani alone but there are similar cases in Sahare, Mwarongo and other villages. However, there is a significant reduction in the size of the catch. When the navy used to patrol the sea, which was between 2000 and 2004, fishermen used to catch plenty of fish but once the navy was relived of this responsibility, dynamite fishing has escalated while the size of the catch has become smaller over the years,” he says. 
 
He adds:” Between 2000 and 2004, a fisherman would spend a few hours at sea and get about 300kgs of fish. Now they spend the whole day there and come back with as low as five kilograms of fish; It is terrible! If this goes on for the next five years, there will be no more fish left.” 
 
According to Kapera, the community in collaboration with the fisheries authorities in the district had set aside no-take areas where fishing was not allowed because such areas were breeding sites. They included Jambe Island. However, efforts to protect these areas have been abandoned due to lack of funds “and commitment from other stakeholders such as staff from the fisheries department and the police.” 
 
Omar Bushiri of Tongoni Village in Tanga also concedes that dynamite fishing has become uneconomic. He told the journalists that the village was at one time a hotspot of dynamite fishing with fishermen always landing a big catch. But things have changed over the years.” 
 
Some fisherman here still engaged in dynamite fishing but I think it is out of habit and lack of an alternative source of income. The catch they land is not even enough to feed their families,” he says, adding that some young men have abandoned fishing and left the village altogether to try their hand in other activities elsewhere. 
 
Adam Khatib, a resident of Tongoni village, has been fishing for over ten years most of which he has spent in dynamite fishing. Although he does not admit to engage in dynamite fishing, it is an open secret in the village that he is involved in the crime. However, he told the journalist that dynamite fishing is no longer the cash-cow that used to be and those who still engage in it are doing it out of habit rather that for economic gains. 
 
“I think there is no more fish left around here. It doesn’t make sense for one to spend the whole day at sea and come back with only a handful of fish. Even those who use legal fishing methods are not better off; they always land a very small catch,” he explained. 
 
Mwarongo is one of the villages that are famous for dynamite fishing. The village chairman, Mussa Mohamed Amir, says that dynamite fishing can no longer make ends meet for those who engage in it. 
 
“Yes, people still engage in dynamite fishing but they are doing it for lack of a better alternative source of income. Gone are the days when dynamite fishers used to land big catches that made them rich. Nowadays they end up getting a few kilogrammes of fish which are not enough for their families,” he explains. 
 
Amir says that some people have abandoned dynamite fishing and gone for legal fishing methods but they had had little success because the illegal fishing method has also been affected the availability of fish. “There are those who are now engaging in other activities, but it will take sometime before they are able to realise any gains,” he said. 
 
Questions linger as to why dynamite fishing is still common among coastal communities when it is no longer economic. Many villagers interviewed said that people continue to do it for lack of a better source of income and out of habit. When one earns a small income but cannot get an alternative source that would see him improving their lives, a wise decision would be to stick to the current job. Something is better than nothing, so the saying goes. 
 
Yet insiders in the fishing industry say that dynamite fishing is only uneconomic to the small-scale fishermen, but for those who use engine-powered boats and appropriate equipment; those who can fish in the deep sea, going over 50 kilometres into the sea and targeting schools of tuna, the business is still very lucrative. 
 
Issues of economics apart, stakeholders have advanced various reasons to explain why dynamite fishing has become an age-old problem whose solution lies nowhere in sight. 
 
“I think government officials charged with the responsibility to stamp out dynamite fishing are not honest. And here I am talking about some officials in the fisheries department and the police who plan the patrols and actually take part in them – some of these people demand bribes from dynamite fishers to let them continue with the illegal fishing. They also sell information to the criminals for personal gains, with the result that very often the patrols don’t catch anyone,” explains Amir. 
 
He says that it was surprising to hear dynamite blasts almost everyday but the criminals would stay home and the sea would be silent on the days officials conduct patrols. Somehow the criminals can tell when it is safe and when it is not safe to go out dynamiting. “Government officials have lost credibility and the communities have become uncooperative in this issue for their own safety,” he added. 
 
Legislation governing fisheries has also been cited as one of the bottlenecks in dealing with dynamite fishing. Various people interviewed were of the view that the Fisheries Act, 2003 no longer responds to current needs because it prescribes light sentences to offenders and it should thus be amended. 
 
“If a law does not instill fear among the general public, if people have no respect for such a law then it should be amended. One wonders why the law sets free even offenders who are caught with damning evidence – is it because the law is weak or is it because the judiciary is corrupt?” asked Abdi Yahaya of Mwambani Village. 
 
His views were echoed by Omar Bushiri of Tongoni village who said that the judiciary was not serious in dealing with dynamite fishers because most of those found guilty escape with light sentences and so go back to commit the same offenses. 
 
The small capital required to engage in dynamite fishing has also fueled the crime. Those well-versed with the industry say that one needs only 5,000/- to get started, this being the price of one piece of dynamite stick. With such little money, many youths can start the business and sustain it. 
 
According to some sources, things are made easier by the fact that small scale dynamiters don’t need canoes or boats in their work; they simply swim in the sea, throw the lit dynamite stick in the identified area and collect the fish which they tie to a rope. This has made dynamite fishing “anyone’s” job. 
 
The leniency of the government and the “noise” made human rights activist have also helped to sustain dynamite fishing in Tanga Region. Whenever offenders are dealt with a heavy hand, activists argue that authorities are more concerned with protecting fish than human beings. 
 
“There is a lot of politicking here. In Kenya, a person found in illegal possession of dynamite or engages in dynamite fishing is shot dead. Mozambique has a similar regulation and in both these countries, illegal possession of dynamite is treason. But here, no one really cares who possess dynamite and for what purpose. This laxity is costing us a lot,” explains Sylvester Givver, Mkinga District Fisheries Officer. 
 
He adds that weak enforcement system where by those found guilty escape with light sentences only fuels the crime. According to the fisheries officer the situation is further complicated by the fact that dynamite fishers have formed their own association that helps culprits to pay fines or deal with the police and the magistrates by bribing them so as to be set free. 
 
“There is a habitual dynamite fisher who has been taken to court for at least nine clear-cut cases for being caught with dynamited fish and for actually engaging in dynamite fishing. The evidence in all these cases has been unquestionable but he has not been found guilty in many of them and he is likely also not to be found guilty in the remaining few. This shows how strong their network is,” he says. 
 
Mussa Dengo, Tanga City Fisheries Officer puts the blame squarely on the government. He argues that so far there is no clear strategy on sustainable management of the country’s fisheries. “The fisheries sector contributes about three percent to the country’s economy and 13 percent to the country’s foreign earnings; but how much of this is ploughed back to improve the management of fisheries?” he asks. 
 
He says that effective surveillance and protection of the country’s fisheries has not been possible due to lack of resources but this would not be a problem if there was an elaborate system to re-invest some of the sector’s earnings for this purpose. “It would appear that dynamite fishers are above the law, they cannot be dealt with. Yet the truth is that the government has not put its foot on this problem,” he noted.
 
Health danger in Dar over dynamite fishing 
05 April 2011, By Lucas Liganga, The Citizen Chief Reporter
 
Dar es Salaam. The health of thousands of Dar es Salaam, residents is in jeopardy due to dynamite fishing, The Citizen has learnt. Such is the extent of dynamite fishing along the city’s coast that the issue will today be on the agenda of the region’s defence and security committee meeting. The acting Dar es Salaam regional commissioner and chairman of the regional defence and security committee, Mr Said Meck Sadick, said yesterday that dynamite fishing would be discussed at length during the meeting with a view to ending the illegal practice once and for all.
 
Activists have warned that if no immediate action is taken to contain the situation, dynamite fishing might have disastrous consequences in a number of areas, including marine environment and tourism. Mr Sadick was reacting to a survey by The Citizen that has established that dynamite fishing is continuing unabated in the coastal villages of Ngobanya, Kizito, Mbutu and Puna in Kimbiji Ward. “Dynamite fishing is harmful to humans because some toxic remnants of chemicals used to make the bombs are not good to human health,” said Mr Sadick during an interview adding: “Dynamite fishing is also dangerous to marine life, including coral reefs that are breeding grounds for fish. This malpractice will never be entertained.”
 
Coral reefs are among the most critical marine resources in Tanzania as they support livelihoods for over eight million coastal people and are also an important source of income for the local and export-oriented fishing industry. A survey carried out by this newspaper has revealed that dynamite fishing along the Dar es Salaam coastal areas is becoming rampant again after former Livestock and Fisheries minister John Magufuli clamped down hard on the practice in 2009 and 2010.
 
Ngobanya Village executive officer Kolela Magai admitted during an interview on Monday that hardly a day passes without one hearing dynamite blasts in the sea. “Those involved are sometimes caught by relevant authorities, but you see them back in business after a short while,” said Mr Magai, adding that fighting dynamite fishing was difficult because the perpetrators were politically well connected and protected.
 
Kizito Village chairman Rajab Bakari also admitted that incidents of dynamite fishing in his area were common because fighting the vice called for a “good chain of defence and security command. ”Although illegal and highly dangerous, dynamite fishing continues to be practised along most of the Tanzanian coast, including Tanga, Bagamoyo, Dar es Salaam, Mafia, Rufiji, Kilwa and Zanzibar, particularly Pemba.
 
Sea Sense, a community-based, Tanzanian, non-governmental organisation set up in 2001 to help coastal communities protect and conserve endangered marine species and habitats, says dynamite fishing is highly destructive and the long-term effects are considerable, both environmentally and socio-economically. The organisation says it recorded 1,120 dynamite blasts in 2008 in Temeke District and some other parts of Dar es Salaam.
 
Dynamite fishing could also discourage tourists who pay a lot of money for snorkelling or diving in healthy coral reefs because dead reefs lose all their attraction. The Citizen has learnt that the sources of dynamite are cement factories, road building projects, mining areas and the security forces. 
 
A study on the impact of dynamite fishing in the Kinondoni Integrated Coastal Area Management Project (KICAMP) localities reveals that the damage caused to reefs by dynamite goes beyond the shattering impact of the explosion itself. The study jointly done by Chikambi Rumisha, a marine scientist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and Dr Christopher Muhando, a marine ecologist and lecturer with the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) of the University of Dar es Salaam in Zanzibar, says after a blast, algal growth quickly smothers the coral because the shoals of grazing fish that would normally keep it under control have been decimated.
 
The study focused on the localities of Mbweni, Ununio and Kunduchi as well as the offshore islands of Mbudya, Fungu Yasin, Bongoyo, Pangavini Marine Reserves and fishing grounds in the vicinity. Specific interest was also given to fringing reefs along Ras Kiromoni at Ununio and Malindi coast, Fungu Mkadya, Mbudya patches, Mwenvua, Dute, Dambwe, Mwamba Mrefu, Taa kubwa and Taa ndogo, and Kitapumbe reefs.
 
Tanzania: Scores of Fishermen Surrender Banned Gear to Marine Park
 
Mtwara — A total of 53 fishermen from four villages in Mtwara District have surrendered their banned fishing tools to Mnazi Bay Marine Park in support of the government drive to curb illegal fishing. Fishermen from Mngoji, Mnete, Naringu and Msangamkuu villages said they have decided to abandon the practice of using illegal tools after being educated on the bad effects of the practice by park officials
 
Mtwara district commissioner Elaston Mbwilo, told The Citizen over the weekend that relentless efforts to educate fishermen have resulted into awareness which has prompted some of them to surrender their tools. Mr Mbwilo, who is also the chairman of the regional prevention and control of illegal fishing committee, said the fishermen surrendered the illegal fishing gear last month.
 
He said the situation has improved compared to two years ago due to the education offered to the fishermen about the adverse effects of illegal tools in fishing, along with empowering groups to obtain legal fishing gear. "I urge park officials to put more emphasis on educating the public, last the use of force should be the next step if the fishermen ignore the advice ... we should understand that it will take time for them (fishermen) to abandon tools they have been using for years," he said.
 
The DC said in a period of three weeks in Nalingu, village seven people were detained for investigation after the seizure of illegal fishing gear. But they were released after naming the owners. Mr Mbwilo has urged other fishermen to surrender their illegal fishing tools as no legal action will be taken against them, but those who would be arrested in a special swoop would be charged. According to the acting park chief executor, Mr Redfred Ngowo, during the past five years of implementing the park management programme, people still use dynamite for fishing. 
 
Can TZ win illegal fishing war alone? 
The Citizen, 10 January 2011, BY George Sembony, The Citizen Correspondent
 
Tanga.Dynamite fishing was successfully controlled, almost to zero level, when the Irish government supported the Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme (TCZCDP). However, when it ended in 2006, dynamite fishing erupted with vengeance. Suddenly reported dynamite blasts shot up from almost zero to 69 blasts per month in the following year (2007). This is until another donor showed up in the form of the World Bank-financed Tanzania Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (MACEMP).
 
The project which was aimed at strengthening the sustainable management and use of the Borrower's Exclusive Economic Zone, territorial seas, and coastal resources - resulting in enhanced revenue collection - reduced threats to the environment, improved livelihoods for participating coastal communities living in the coastal districts, and improved institutional capabilities. 
 
It had allocated a budget of $60,000 per year for illegal fishing control activities, including patrols. However, as the project draws to a close next year, the budget has dwindled to $10,000 per year, with dire consequences that resemble the same phenomenon of 2007 when the TCZCDP came to an end in 2006.
 
According to the Mkinga district fisheries officer, Mr Sylvester Givver, dynamite fishing incidents have shot up sharply again to 19 dynamite blasts per month in 2010, from just about four per month in 2009/10. He attributed the trend to reduced funding by MACEMP
od days, “between two to three patrols were being conducted per week in 2008/09, resulting in reduced dynamite blasts from 69 per month in 2006/07, to eight in 2008/09 and three in 2009/10,” he told members of the a delegation of journalists studying the impact of the features and stories written under the Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) in the two districts. The delegation was led by the TMF Programme Officer, Raziah Mwawanga. “Unfortunately, MACEMP is coming to an end and funding has dwindled to an allocation of $ 10,000 per year, leading to a situation where there is only one patrol per month and resulting to increased blasts to 19 per month,” Mr Givver said.
 
The control trend shows that dynamite fishing seems to remain under control during donor-funded programmes. For instance, the vice had been reduced to almost zero during the Irish government-supported Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme (TCZCDP). “Immediately after the end of the TCZCDP in 2006, the number of dynamite blasts shot significantly in just one year (2007),’ he noted. ‘It looks like the dynamite users know that you do not have an ability to conduct patrols now,” he said.
 
The Pangani Fisheries officer, Mr Chitambo Kauta, said that Pangani was now being invaded by dynamite fishermen from Tanga City after enhanced control by the Muheza district based-Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park which occupies part of Tanga City and Muheza District at Kigombe. “MACEMP had been propping us and enabling us to conduct patrols but in October we had to conduct patrols on foot along the coast,” he said, adding that, “this is frustrating even to our informers who have now stopped informing us about dynamite fishers because they know we cannot make it to the invaded areas.”
 
A Phase 4 report by the TCZCDP showed that strategies were developed for district councils to internalise activities that were being implemented by the project, including financing illegal fishing control activities. A strategy developed and approved by all partners in December 2004 and which primarily focused on the handing over process of the management of the programme, from IUCN to the government of Tanzania, showed that considerable time was spent in ensuring that management responsibilities of the IUCN were properly handed over to the regional secretariat and the districts by March 31, 2005.
 
Three new patrol boats were ordered from U.A.E and each district received one Yamaha 27F fibreglass boats which would replace the smaller boats which were being used in patrol activities. Those patrol boats have been lying idle because of lack of fuel to run them. It has been revealed here that only one council, the Tanga City Council, has been allocating funds for patrol activities, but how frequent such activities were being undertaken is anybody’s guess. 
 
Mr Givver says that protection of natural resources, including marine and coastal, has been accorded the right priority in planning in most local governments, a factor that has been supported by an environmental expert, Ms Melita Samoilys, from a marine NGO based in Kenya, Cordio East Africa. 
 
Ms Samoilys said that experience was showing that Tanzania has not been able to mainstream the environment into its economic and development planning and poverty reduction strategies, despite experiences earned during several years of community-based conservation projects. “Many years after spending so much in community-based conservation projects, marine resources were still being destroyed,” she pointed out.
 
The environmental expert said that planners were talking about education and health but those have already been mainstreamed into economic and development planning and poverty reduction strategies. “The government has given us guns but it has not given us bullets,” Mr Kauta said sarcastically, elaborating that the government or the projects had given them patrol boats but that the equipment needed funds to run.
 
Another example of dependency on donor funded protection measures are the introduction of the Coelacanth Marine Reserve in Kigombe. The Kigombe village chairman, Mr Mumbi Haji, said that they have been relieved with the introduction of the reserve, noting that patrols being financed by the reserve were effective, pushing dynamite fishermen to south or north of Tanga, towards the boundary with Kenya.
 
The officers think that because marine and coastal resources are important to revenue collection in coastal districts, it would pay to accord them priority and reserve  funds for protecting those  resources to be beneficial to the district and its residents, instead befitting a few people who obliterate the resources.
 
The dynamite situation, according to Mr Obadia Ngogo - the officer in charge of the North-Eastern Zone of the Fisheries Surveillance Unit - is getting worse despite patrol efforts by the unit which is largely understaffed and under-financed. 
 
Comments  
0 #1 daniel 2011-01-10. what is wrong with us, we Tanzanians? TELL ME, who bewitched us from time immemorial? It is totally nonsense to utilise our natural resources illegally as if we are all getting dead today.The way i see this blissful ignorance has been caused by weak policies and forensic drafts towards the menace by governments.WHO WILL YOU LEAD IF WE ALL DIE AS A RESULT OF POOR ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT? I AM ASKING YOU WAHESHIMIWA.
 
‘Courts fail to stop bad fishing’ 
09 January 2011, By Abdallah Bakari, The Citizen Correspondent
 
Mtwara. The village leaders and members of environment conservation committee in Mnazi Bay and the Ruvuma Marine Park, have requested the government to allow them to punish people suspected to engage in illegal fishing in the marine park. Village chairmen, executive officers and members of village environment conservation committees, said they had reached that decision after the courts failed to convict and punish the suspects.
 
The leaders raised their concern during a meeting that discussed the new programme for the marine park management.  They claimed that despite arresting the suspects often in possession of illegal fishing tools, the courts acquitted them for lack of evidence. "Illegal fishing can be stopped if the culprits are severely punished," said  Mr Abiola Mtalika, a member of the committee on environment conservation in Nalingu village
 
State attorney in Mtwara Zone Renatus Mkude opposed the idea, saying under the rule of law “We can not grab the court’s authority by allowing people to practice jungle justice.” He said their proposal was not correct under the law. Mtwara district commissioner Elaston Mbwillo, who was the guest of honour during the opening of the meeting, warned the leaders against taking the law unto their hands, instead they should appear in courts to testify against the suspects. “If you don’t go to courts and testify, how do you expect the courts to convict the suspects. Let’s cooperate with the magistrates to curb the problem,” said Mr Mbwillo
 
Earlier, the marine park conservator, Mr Redfred Ngowo, said during the past five years, there were many cases of illegal fishing using dynamite. "Over the last five years, the park management donated fishing equipment to 556 fish men worth Sh181.6 million in a bid to reduce the use of illegal fishing tools, but the problem still persists," said Mr Ngowo He said the park is surrounded by 17 villages whose residents were dependent on its marine resources for their livelihood. 
 
Dynamite fishing reported thriving in Tanga Region 
The Citizen, 01 January 2011, By George Sembony
 
Tanga. Heavy reliance on donor support for control of illegal fishing including dynamite fishing and the inability of local councils to finance control measures, have been cited as major setbacks to control use of dynamite in fishing in Pangani and Mkinga districts. Fisheries officers from the two districts have said control trends during the past decade indicate that dynamite fishing often re-emerges with a vengeance soon after donor funded projects wind up.
 
According to Mkinga Fisheries Officer Sylvester Givver, dynamite fishing incidents have shot up sharply to 19 dynamite blasts per month in 2010 from about four per month in 2009/10. He attributed the trend to reduced funding by the World Bank funded Marine and Coastal Environment Management Programme (MACEMP).  
 
Under the programme, funding a budget of $60,000 per year was allocated to patrols resulting in reduced dynamite blasts from 69 per month in 2007/07 to eight in 2008/09 and three in 2009/10.  “Unfortunately, MACEMP is coming to an end and funding has dwindled to an allocation of $ 10,000 per year, leading to a situation where there is only on patrol per month resulting increased blasts to 19 per month,” Mr Givver said.
 
The control trend shows that dynamite fishing seems to remain under control during donor funded programmes, saying for instance that the vice had been reduced to almost zero during the Irish government supported Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme (TCZCDP). “Immediately after the end of the TCZCDP in 2006, the number of dynamite blasts rose from almost zero to 69 in a year (2007),” he said. His Pangani counterpart, Mr Chitambo Kkauta, said Pangani has now being invaded by dynamite fishermen from the Tanga City after enhanced control by the Muheza District based-Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park which occupies part of Tanga City and Muheza district at Kigombe.
 
Dynamite fishing continues unabated in Tumbatu
From DAILY NEWS Reporter in Zanzibar, 26th July 2010
 
EFFORTS to conserve environment which include prohibiting illegal fishing methods seem to have failed as the use of dynamite at Mwana-wa-mwana area, Tumbatu Island goes on unabated, killing young fish and destroying coral reefs, it has been revealed. Mr Mussa Jumbe, Director in the Department of Fisheries and Sea Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment said here on Monday a recent incident of dynamite fishing occurred last Tuesday near Tumbatu Island, north of Unguja Island. “Approximately over a tonne of fish have been killed and their breeding places (Coral reefs) destroyed in the act. This is bad, we will hunt down the offenders,” Mr Jumbe said at meeting convened for leaders of ‘village fishing committees’ in Unguja North. 
 
He noted that fish stocks were at the risk of being depleted if fishermen continued using dynamite, warning that his department would spare no efforts in hunting down illegal fishermen. Ms Riziki Simai, District Commissioner (DC) for Unguja North A, condemned the use of dynamite, urging members of the community around Tumbatu island to help the government in identifying people still using unaccepted fishing methods. 
 
However, Mr Mohamed Omar, administrative officer in Tumbatu Island raised concern about what he termed as loose security around the islands, alleging that foreign fishermen were to blame for the July 20, 2010 dynamite fishing. “I think the incident was not carried out by Zanzibaris living on Tumbatu Islands, foreigners are the suspects. People in Zanzibar should be blamed for not providing information to the law-enforcers when they see suspicious people and movements in the sea,” Omar argued. 
 
Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (MACEMP) supported by the World Bank seeks to help conserve coastal ecosystems, encourage good governance of resources, fight poverty among communities which for long had been blamed for degradation of marine and coastal environments. Under the project, several coastal communities have benefited from funds disbursed by MACEMP in loans, grants, working equipment such as fishnets, boats, aquaculture dams and training in micro-entrepreneurship since the beginning of the project.
 
Report: Leaders frustrate efforts against illegal fishing
The Citizen, 7.11.09, By George Sembony, Tanga
 
Interference by politicians and government officials is said to hinder efforts to combat illegal fishing in Tanga Region. This was revealed here recently in a report of the Tanga-based northeastern zone fisheries patrol unit. It quoted the head of the unit, Mr Hyasint Donald Wariro, as saying interference from politicians and senior Government officials in Pangani and Tanga districts forced them to abandon patrols to apprehend illegal fishermen along the Tanga coast. According to the report, Tanga and Pangani district commissioners ordered
the unit to stop conducting the patrols temporarily to avoid disturbing voters during the recent civic elections.
 
This is not the first time the patrol unit leader has complained about interference by politicians and government leaders effectively frustrating the exercise to net illegal fishermen. He mentioned politicians involved in frustrating their efforts as including members of parliament and councillors. ''Location and village chairpersons are not interested in curbing the practice because the illegal operations always start from their areas,'' he said. He also mentioned the Judiciary as playing part in frustrating efforts in the exercise. Mr Wariro said there have been cases of lost case files before or soon after witnesses had given evidence in courts. He also mentioned leakages of details of operations before embarking on them as other factors frustrating their operations. A total of 13 illegal fishermen have been fined Sh1.1 million and ordered to get licenses after pleading guilty to illegal fishing this month.
 
In addition, two boats were impounded in the operation. Meanwhile, a suspect, one Mr Mustapha Wadhari, and his two accomplices escaped arrest on October 6 this year when their boat was seized during the operation. In addition, the police impounded two other boats.
 
Dynamite fishing rampant despite legislations
By Daniel Ondigo, 1st November 2009
 
Magogoni Fish Market in Dar es Salaam, which had been intended to serve 1,000 traders and fishermen, now caters for as many as 15,000 people due to increased fishing related activities.
 
This is despite the ongoing government's efforts to control the practice through legislations like Act No. 22 of 2003 and fisheries regulations passed in 2005. According to Magogoni Market Fisheries Officer Fidelis Mtima, the measures have helped scale down dynamite fishing.
 
However, he added that more efforts are needed to stop the illegal practice. Unlike
fish trapped through normal methods like line fishing, netting and angling, blast or dynamite fishing involves using explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection.
 
The practice is extremely destructive to the surrounding ecosystem, as the explosion destroys the underlying habitat (such as coral reefs) that supports the fish.  Although outlawed, the practice remains widespread and kills fish which are not ready for harvesting. The frequently improvised nature of the explosives also poses danger for the fishermen's lives as well. The lure of lucrative, easy catches; and in some cases outright apathy or corruption on the part of local officials make enforcement of blast fishing bans a challenge for authorities.
 
Mtima said plans were underway to engage a patrol police officer in Dar es Salaam in conjunction with fishermen in extensive day and night patrols to unearth the vice. dynamites are usually bombs made locally, using glass bottles with layers of powdered potassium nitrate and pebbles or ammonium nitrate and kerosene mixture. Underwater shockwaves produced by the explosion causes the fish's swim bladder to rupture; stunning them. A small number of fish float to the surface, but most sink to the sea floor. 
 
Apart from the dynamite fishing, fishermen and traders at Magogoni market are danger of contracting disease owing to unhygienic conditions of their surroundings. The market initially meant for 1,000 traders and fishermen is now struggling to contain 15,000 local and foreign entrepreneurs. GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
 
'Dynamite fish' easy to recognise
Daily News,  JAFFAR MJASIRI, 24th October 2009
 
IT is quite easy to identify fish killed by explosives because their spinal codes and intestines are ruptured in the process, experts say. "Auctioneers at the Ferry Fish Market are trained to identify 'dynamite fish.' We have awareness campaigns conducted in the market from time to time," Ilala Municipal Council Fisheries Officer, Mr Fidelis Ntima said. Mr Ntima said the use of explosives in the Indian Ocean has had far reaching consequences, as it has destroyed coral reefs around 10 kilometres of the sea shores.
 
The Fisheries Act of 2003 and the Fisheries Regulations of 2005 prohibit any person to use dynamites in fishing or any other accessories supporting such activities. "We are fighting a battle with fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing whose aim is to make money no matter what," he said. "Now that such fishermen have destroyed the large portion of coral reefs where fish get food, shelter and breeding ground, the artisanal fishermen cannot find any
catches given that they are using poor rafts and gear that cannot reach the deep seas," he said with concern.
 
He explained that their dug out canoes cannot stand the strong winds and turbulence in high seas and as a result most of them end up with very little catch that cannot sustain their lives. Abdul Salum said most of his colleagues who work in the fish market have realized that fighting dynamite fishing was of paramount importance for the survival of the industry. "I am ready to report to the authorities any person who uses explosives," he said.
 
The Ilala episode is just a tip of the ice-berg of dynamite fish catch finding its way into the market. There are so many spots in the city that receive similar supplies and the authorities have continued its cracking. Meanwhile the government has banned the use of gas jars, swimming goggles and swimming flippers which are used for dynamite operations. "Those instruments are used by fishermen while diving deep in the waters to collect fish that have been blasted," Mr Ntima explained.
 
The Central Police in Dar es Salaam in collaboration with fisheries officers and fishing group leaders successfully cracked down on illegal fishermen at the Ferry Market recently and confiscated various items which were ready to be deployed for illegal fishing. These items confiscated, he said, included 18 pairs of swimming flippers, 14 swimming safety goggles, 51 refilled cylinder jars and 41 litres of petrol. However, the fisheries department, in collaboration with the police authorities has succeeded to prosecute only 6 dynamite users in the past three years.
 
Dynamite fishing: Who is behind it?
16/12/2007, IPP Media
 
Hand grenades and bombs once exclusive weapons for the military are now applied to marine life as a way of getting bumper fish catch. Although 110 people in the country lose their lives every year due to the illegal fishing method, more and more fishermen are attracted to the seeming money minter when only 20 percent of the dynamited fish is picked with the rest being wasted into the sea. The illegal practice is now widespread along the whole of the Indian Ocean coast from Tanga region down to Mtwara region with main spots being in Tanga region.
 
Notorious areas for the crime are Kigombe, Mwambani and Karange in Tanga region which between July and November this year recorded blasts every five to ten minutes while Dege, Sindandogo and Bamba in Temeke and Mkuranga districts in Dar es Salaam reported 146 blasts during the same period.
 
Njao Gap and Manta Reef in Pemba have also been cited as areas where dynamite fishing is being practised with 54 blasts having been reported between July and November this year.
 
The illegal practice puts Tanzania in an awkward light, being the only country along the Indian Ocean coast that has failed to wipe our the crime. Neighbours Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles, Comoro, Mauritius have all succeeded in stopping the illegal practice and look at Tanzania as the odd one out for failing to deal with the vice.
 
"The problem has now grown out of proportion as the criminals now use more sophisticated bombs which are used by the army. "Some of these are also used in blowing up buildings, bridges and safes. We need to come up with a strategy that will enable us to deal with the criminals squarely," explained the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Prof. Jumane Maghembe at a meeting held in Bagamoyo recently. 
 
The meeting which was financed by the British High Commission in Tanzania drew participants from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security, Tanzanian People`s Defense Forces, WWF, regional commissioners from coastal regions and the International Union of Conservation, among others. He explained that the illegal practice has flourished recently because the criminals make handsome money from the illegal business.
 
There are reports that dynamite for one blast is sold at between 6,000/= and 7,000/= which can kill between 150 kilogrammes and 400 killogrammes of fish, sold at a price ranging from 3,000/= to 4,000/= per kilogramme. "The criminals thus make between 500,000/= and 2,000,000/= and bearing in mind that a group of fishermen can undertake ten blasts a day, dynamite fishing has become a lucrative business," the Minister noted. Yet fishermen who
use dynamite also risk their lives. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, about 110 people lose their lives every year due to dynamite fishing but the greed for big money spurs them on.
 
However, while the fishermen make good money out of the illegal business, the country incurs heavy loss in term of environmental destruction and loss of revenue. Dynamite fishing destroys coral reefs which are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life. Once a reef is destroyed by dynamite, it will take close to a century before a new one is formed and this is if all other things remain the same. "But generally once a reef is dynamited, it will never come
back," explained Philip Parham, British High Commissioner, during the meeting.
 
There is also the threat to marine based tourism which has just begun to pick up. Investments are being made in snorkeling and scuba diving which are high value tourism that could have a positive impact on the economy of coastal communities in both the Mainland and Zanzibar. According to the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors, coastal tourism accounts for up to 22 percent of Zanzibar's GDP and 17 percent for the Mainland. Marine based tourism also
accounts for approximately 77 percent of Zanzibar's Foreign Direct Investment (DFI) which translates to about 139.555 million US dollars. "If we allow dynamite to continue, we are likely to lose 100 million US dollars a year; 138,000 jobs will be at stake and 150 million US dollars spending by foreign visitors will be lost. "This is to say the least about 80 million US dollars capital expenditure that we will have to forfeit", explained Julia Bishop, the Director of Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors. She added that while Tanzania is not taking measures to nurture her marine based tourism; other countries are protecting their resources and exploiting the full potential of their coastal tourism.
 
Small fishermen suffer
Law-abiding small scale fishermen also suffer from dynamite fishing as the illegal fishing method kills indiscriminately, leading to reduced fish catches. With their livelihoods threatened, there is no way these families can lift themselves out of poverty. Besides, dynamiting of school of fish and pelagic fish, is a waste of resources because only about 20 percent of the dynamited fish is picked by the fishermen while the rest sinks into the sea.
However, with reef dynamiting, the fishermen can pick between 60 and 70 percent of the fish. Due to continued harassment from the blasts, eventually the fish move away in search of better feeding grounds. This reduces catches for small scale fishermen and many of them are already complaining about poor catches. 
 
Even with the current state of affairs, various people have not lost hope and are taking measures to fight the crime. The Zanzibar Association of Tourism, Sea Sense and Sea Products Ltd are monitoring how the illegal fishing is conducted and recording the number of blasts everyday, in the hope that the information will help to highlight the magnitude of the problem and guide authorities in deciding what action should be taken against the criminals. Sea Products Ltd is spearheading the monitoring in Tanga region, Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors mainly monitors the situation in Zanzibar and Pemba and Sea Sense is
currently working in eight districts including Temeke and Mkuranga districts although the organizations share the information between them. "In response to the escalating problem of dynamite fishing particularly in Temeke and Mkuranga Districts, we initiated meetings with village leaders from 12 villages in July this year to discuss the issue of dynamite fishing. We requested them to participate in monitoring blasts and they all agreed," explained an official
from the NGO.
 
The action taken by Sea Sense is in line with the thinking of the British High Commissioner who said during the meeting that community involvement can play a crucial role in fighting dynamite fishing because it destroys their livelihoods. "But they need to know who to call with information about blasts or about people planning to use dynamite for fishing. And they need to be confident that their information will be acted on, "he cautioned.
 
Illegal and unregulated fishing still headache to authorities
Links there:
 
Unregulated and illegal fishing practices on Tanzania's Exclusive Economic Zone
(EEC) are still rampant despite strenuous efforts by the government to stop continuity... ...
Tanzania to curb illegal fishing
 
Tanzania is reported to be losing a fortune to illegal fishing every year and European Union sources estimate that some 70 ships are operating illegally, targeting tuna, kingfish, lobsters and prawns. ...
 
Marine scientists: Dynamite fishing at alarming level
Marine scientists have described the level of dynamite fishing as alarming and the main factor in coral reefs destruction in coastal areas in the country. ...
 
This open access will deplete our fisheries
Despite numerous efforts by the government, illegal fishing in our lakes and Indian Ocean coast waters has continued to be rampant and even intensified to the extent of threatening the existence of our fishery resources. ...
 
President Kikwete warns against illegal fishing
President Jakaya Kikwete has expressed concern over illegal fishing which, he said, is the main cause of fish shortage in both the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria. ...
 
Stop illegal fishing, Chake Chake DC warns 
 
Zanzibar Director for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mussa Aboud Jumbe has challenged authorities charged with the duty to control and monitor illegal fishing in Pemba Island. ...
 
Illegal fishing a big threat to Kilombero River breeding sites
The future of fish breeding in Kilombero River is in danger following rampart illegal fishing done by illegal seasonal fishermen, a survey conducted by this paper... ...
 
Needed: Swift move to restore order in our fishing industry
Available data shows that Tanzania`s fishing industry is wallowing in great mess, thus limiting its potentiality to help the economy grow fast enough and alleviate poverty in the most meaningful manner. ...
 
Illegal fishing costs Africa 62bn/-
The scale of illegal fishing across Africa is now so serious that it is in danger of decimating stocks across the continent, a new report says. ...
 
Magufuli appeals for patriotism in curbing rampant illegal fishing
The minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries, John Magufuli, has urged fishermen to be more patriotic in the fight against illegal fishing practices. ...
 
Carrying on with the war against dynamite fishing
The East African coast is one of the richest areas in coastal and marine resources in the world with its unique oceanographic features and remarkable underwater canyons. ...
 
Dynamite fishing: Who is behind it?
Hand grenades and bombs once exclusive weapons for the military are now applied to marine life as a way of getting bumper fish catch....
 
What coral reefs are
Pollution, over fishing, and overuse of other oceanic resources have put many of our unique reefs at risk. Their disappearance would destroy the habitat of countless species. ...
 
`Politicians have interests in dynamite fishing in coastal regions`
Politicians in the country`s coastal regions have been alleged to be behind increasing incidents of dynamite fishing. ... 
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