EXTREME OF ILLEGAL FISHING CAUSES THE WAVE OF POVERTY IN PEMBA.

Hassan Msellem
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Pemba is an island among the islands found in Zanzibar, an island located approximately 50 kilometers north of Unguja Island in the Indian Ocean.


Photo from library.

Pemba has a total population of 360, 797 according to the 2012 population and housing Census with an area of 980 square kilometers.


The people of Pemba island are engaged in various activities including large and small businesses, transport activities, agriculture as well as activities which are the main activities for many areas of Pemba island.


Areas engaged in fishing activities including South of Pemba island and its suburbs Such as Wambaa, Makoongwe, Kisiwa Panza, Michenzani, Chokocho and Mwambe. On the Southeast side it including Mtangani, Kiwani and Vitongoji.


On the South West Side, it includes Wesha, Ndagoni, Tundaua, Kichuuwani and so on.

                                
CORAL AFFECTED BY THE GUNPOWDER.

THE STATUS OF FISHING ACTIVITIES ON PEMBA ISLAND AT THIS TIME.

But in recent years this resources of fishing activities have been seen to face various challenges including the use of nets with small holes, belt nets, arrows and so on, which leads to the destructions of the fish breeding environment and led the fish being destroyed a large extent.

Fishermen fishing using net with small holes.

Among the areas that have been effected by illegal fishing including the coast of the South Sea and the Northern of Pemba Such as Kojani, Tumbe, Wambaa, Mtangani, Maziwa Ngombe, Michenzani, Makoongwe extra.

OPINIONS OF FISHERMEN INVOLVED IN ILLEGAL FISHING IN PEMBA.


To understand why many fishermen like to use those illegal fishing tools not allowed by the government, I talked to some fishermen from different areas of Pemba, and explained that type of fishing is the one that provides fish to large extent to compared to legal fishing.

Various smallest fishes earned by using net with small.

ARE THEY AWERE OF THE EFFECT OF ILLEGAL FISHING?

Despite claiming that illegal fishing is the only fishing that provides fish in abundance but most of the fishermen they know about the effects of illegal fishing.


Ali Makame Ussi and Haji Ussi Rashid, is one among the fishermen found in the Southern of Pemba Island who use a small net with small holes, they say they have been doing illegal fishing activities for five years now and they are witnessing a bad change in catching fish, so that they give up on continuing those activities.


        “In fact, the fishing situation is very bad at the moment because some days we go to the sea to work until we get desperate and we don’t get a single fish” they Said.


WHAT DO COMMUNITY MEMBERS SAY ABOUT ILLEGAL FISHING?

I managed to talk to some members of the community in relation to illegal fishing in order to get their opinions on that fishing, where many said that illegal fishing has affected them a lot in the catch of fish compared to the past.


“Many fishermen have been involved in illegal fishing using bombs and net with small holes, something which leads to destruction of fish breeding and making fish unavailable” said one of the community members


WHAT MEASURES HAVE THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES TAKEN TO COMBAT ILLEGAL FISHING IN PEMBA ISLAND.

Department of fisheries is the department responsible for overseeing all fishing activities in the Zanzibar Island, where I managed to speak with the director of the department of fisheries at Mkoani district Ali Kassim Juma, and axplain the government’s strategies including taking strick action against all fishermen who are involved in illegal fishing, including the use of bombs and net with small holes.


“As government department we have various laws and regulations that guide fishermen in carrying out their duties, including the law that prohibits illegal fishing using bombs and net with small holes and that fisherman found to be using illegal fishing gear will be subject to strick legal action including the confiscation of his vessel” said Ali Kassim Juma Department of fisheries at Mkoani District.

THE NUMBER OF FISHERMEN TAKEN ACTION FOR ILLEGAL FISHING  IN PEMBA.


He added that, from January 2022 to June, approximately 82 fishermen have been taken various measures due to illegal fishing, including filing charges and confiscating their traps.


THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN FISHING ACTIVITY IN ZANZIBAR.


According to the studies done Mwambao Coast Community Tanzania ‘MCCT’ shown that Zanzibar has 34000 fishermen involved where Unguja has 19588 and Pemba has 14412 equal to 37.9 percentages.


THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY ILLAGAL FISHING.

Through research conducted by Society Conservation of Marine Life Zanzibar 'SCMLZ' shown about 958975 have been affected by illegal fishing lack of enough fishes, compared to 20 years ago. 


Editor's Comments

The issue of illegal fishing should be declared as a national disaster as well as providing education on the effects of illegal fishing, so that fishermen who engage in fishing realize the magnitude of the issue, perhaps that can help reduce the number of illegal fishing in Pemba Island.


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