Port of Dar es Salaam

DAR ES SALAAM – At least 16 foreign ships have vanished from the INDIAN Ocean waters in TANZANIA, and the State has ordered all security organs to launch a search.

The DAILY NEWS quotes Livestock and Fisheries Minister LUHAGA MPINA as saying the incident comes amid increased scandalous acts involving government officials and foreigners at sea.

The paper says he has revealed the information after inspecting a fishing vessel owned by the XISHIJI 37 Company of CHINA, which recently docked at the DAR ES SALAAM Port.

In this case, Minister MPINA says the authorities had given Deep Sea Fishing Licences to 24 vessels but only EIGHT have undergone inspection.

The rest of them simply vanished, and the government has discovered some of its officials are involved in the disappearance of the ships, as well as in the other criminal activities.

Minister MPINA says the law-enforcement agencies are chasing up the vessels and are certain to catch the suspects, because they have all their registration particulars; and his Ministry will take tough measures against the employees involved.

In another case, he has directed officials to move to DAR ES SALAAM Port a fishing vessel seized from the BUAH NAGA ONE Company of MALAYSIA.

A Special Task Force patrolling the LINDI and MTWARA coastlines arrested the ship on 25 JANUARY after they found it with fins and gills of 30 sharks, as well as FOUR tonnes of protected rare species of the sea.

Minister MPINA says the vessel violated the laws of the SADC country and the State ordered it to pay a fine of 350-THOUSAND US dollars, within SEVEN days after the seizure, which is still outstanding.

He has told his Permanent Secretary YOHANA BUDEBA to seek a court order to confiscate the ship, the 42 tonnes of fish, and the FOUR tonnes of rare species on board for auctioning.

The government has also launched a search for yet another vessel owned by TAI HONG NO-1 Company, which was escaped arrest after officials found 44 shark fins aboard.

It is not clear however, how the Captain managed to pull away and vanish into the ocean before the security could arrest his ship: which they also later found with links to more offences such as environmental pollution.

The Minister says the current government of TANZANIA took office and amended the Deep Sea Fishing regulations of 2009, adding more sections to curb illegal fishing, so that the nation could benefit fully from its resources./Sabanews/cam

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