Tanzanian fishermen have praised the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries (SWIOFish) program, which has improved the health of fisheries and yields. The project teaches fishers responsible and environmentally sustainable fishing practices, furnishes them with fishing equipment if needed, and provides guidance on fish and octopus farming. Patrols to combat illegal and unlicensed fishing are also managed under SWIOFish, in collaboration with Tanzania’s special anti-smuggling unit KMKM.
Why It Matters
If fisheries were to survive, sustainable fishing practices need to be enforced everywhere to prevent overfishing, and efforts have to be made to ensure vulnerable coral reefs and other biomes are protected from practices like illegal trawling. The acidification of the oceans as a consequence of climate change already threatens fish species and coral, escalating the need for programs like SWIOFish. In the city of Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast, fishing provides employment for a significant portion of the population. Ensuring that fishers can continue to earn a living while also protecting the health of fisheries and the ecosystem is of paramount importance for both economic and biological health, especially for a country like Tanzania, where fish products make up 3 percent of the country’s total exports and provide 30 percent of Tanzanians’ total protein intake.