Speaking at the opening of a three-day stakeholders’ workshop on Tilapia Aquaculture in Tanzania, Dr Budeba said that despite the shortage, most of the country’s offshore fisheries resources were not fully exploited, reports DailyNews.
He pointed out in his speech that although the country could produce over 700,000 MT of fish annually, irresponsible fishing and environmental degradation had resulted in unimpressive annual catches of about 400,000 MT mainly from Lake Victoria.
“We need to work hard and address the deficit,” the PS said in his speech read at the workshop by the Director of Aquaculture in the Ministry Dr Charles Mahika, who in addition, said the fish shortage had led to the importation of 200,000 MT of fish from China annually.
He said the government’s measures to address the shortage included promotion of aquaculture, deep sea fishing, and protecting the environment. Aquaculture is currently growing at an average, annual rate, of 8.8 per cent globally and 11.7 per cent in Africa.
Dr Budeba said, “Considering the fact that per capita fish consumption is half (8kg/person/year) of the recommended global consumption (17.2kg/person/year), our people look upon us, the government and you the intelligentsia to help solve some of the problems.”
He said the problems facing tilapia aquaculture development for food security, poverty alleviation and economic development include low investment for the required infrastructure, technologies and resource; human resource and expertise; and climate change adaptation and mitigation.