ECONOMIC LIBERALISATION AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN FISHERIES SECTOR
ECONOMIC LIBERALISATION AND
RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN
OVERVIEW OF THE SECTOR
FISHERIES SECTOR IN TANZANIA
• “Statistical information on the fisheries is
inadequate and not much can be deduced
• MARINE AND FRESH WATER FISHERIES
• MARINE: TANZANIA COASTLINE & ZANZIBAR
ISLANDS AND MAFIA ISLAND
• FRESH WATER: GREAT LAKES, SMALL LAKES
FISHERIES IN LAKE VICTORIA
• Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater
lake (after Lake Superior)
• Tanzania has jurisdiction over some 49% (about 34,700
) of Lake Victoria
• While the introduction of the perch into the lake in the
1950s triggered dramatic changes in the lake’s eco-
system, it also spawned a whole new industry related
to the capture, processing and subsequent export of
• “Darwin’s Nightmare” film was produced by a
freelance journalist of Austrian descent based in
• GLOBALISATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON A DEVELOPING
• INTERNATIONAL FISH TRADE COMPANIES BENEFITING
AT THE EXPENSE OF DETERIORATING LIVELIHOODS OF
THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES
• There's no voice-over narration in ''Darwin's
Nightmare," Hubert Sauper's despairing, essential
documentary about environmental and social
cataclysm in Africa.
• What sounds like healthy reciprocal capitalism plays out as
a worst-case scenario of exploitation and societal damage.
With the factories owned by East Indian immigrants,
townspeople can't afford the fish they catch
• the Nile Perch (Sangara) trade from Mwanza region in
Tanzania facilitates poverty, hunger, prostitution,
homelessness to children, environmental destruction, loss
of lake Victoria biodiversity and human rights abuse in the
• high quality Nile Perch fillets are exported to the European
market while the locals are left with fish remains,
specifically the head and skeleton, popularly known by the
Kiswahili word ‘mapanki’.
• MPs tell Mwanza fisheries to clear Darwin’s Nightmare
Thu, Nov 02, 2006
• Fishery department has been urged to do everything at its disposal
to ensure Tanzania regains its goodwill in European Union (EU) fish
fillet market tainted by the Darwin’s Nightmare film.
• Ndugai expressed concerns that the international image of the fish-
fillet exporting industry in Mwanza was still shaky due to the 2004
Darwin’s Nightmare film produced by an Austrian director based in
France, Hubert Sauper.
• Darwin’s Nightmare look at the economic and social impact of the
release of a bucket full of Nile Perch into Lake Victoria. Over time,
the perch’s fleshy white fillets proved popular on European dinner
tables and spawned an industry worth millions of pounds a month.
• Mini boomtowns emerged on the lakeshore.
• The film claims this business has exacted huge
cost on the Tanzanian community.
• They share in none of the profits, are exploited
by overseas business interests, while ending up
to consume fish leftovers, (mapanki).
• In August, the documentary drew a furious
reaction from President Jakaya Kikwete with
remarks that it had hurt the country’s image and
caused a slump in exports of Nile Perch.
FISHERIES IN MWANZA
• Lake Victoria directly and indirectly provides a
livelihood for their households as well as myriad
traders, boatbuilders, gear artisans, transporters,
and others who offer support services connected
with the fisheries.
• Fishing in Lake Victoria has a long historical
• Prior to the flourishing of international fish fillet
from Mwanza, fishing was not a major economic
activities in Mwanza region
FISHERIES IN MWANZA
• It was dominated by artisanal operators
equipped with canoes and various types of gears
including gillnets, seines, traps, and longlines
• The fisheries are still heavily dominated by
artisanal operators whose activities are mostly
confined to the shallow inshore areas.
• most fishing activity involves small-scale, non-
mechanised units and rather low investment
• Even such artisanal operations vary considerably
in their features
CHANGES IN FISHERIES INDUSTRY
• The impact of the introduction of Nile perch, Lates niloticus
(L.) on the fisheries of Lake Victoria - A. P. Achieng (1990)
• The Nile perch was introduced into Lake Victoria some 30
years ago, since when it has completely transformed the
fishing industry and the species composition of the fish
fauna of the lake.
• Nile perch first appeared in Lake Victoria in the late 1950s,
when it may have have been introduced deliberately.
The ecology of the Lake has been significantly affected by
this action. By 1980 catches started to increase
substantially to the present level estimated at 500,000
tonnes per annum.
CHANGES IN FISHERIES INDUSTRY
• The original multispecies fishery, based mostly on
cichlids (haplochromines, tilapias), cyprinids
(Barbus, Labeo, Rastrineobola) and siluroids
(Bagrus, Clarias, Synodontis, Schilbe), has
changed dramatically to one based on three
species: the introduced Nile perch, the cyprinids,
Rastrineobola argenrea (Pellegrin), and the
introduced Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus
The Nile Perch
• The Nile perch Lates niloticus is a large
freshwater fish found extensively in the rivers
and lakes of Africa. Also known as capitaine,
mputa or sangara, it can grow up to 200 kg
and two metres in length. It is a predator, and
lives and feeds throughout the water column.
Its main attractions as a food fish are its
abundance, ease of catching with a variety of
artisanal and industrial techniques, its large
size and very palatable bone-free white flesh.
CHANGES IN FISHERIES INDUSTRY
• Nile perch first appeared in Lake Victoria in the late 1950s. The fish
is locally known as Mbuta or Sangara. Fishery experts say it can
grow to two metres in length and weigh 200 kg.
• In 25 years the Nile perch became ubiquitous and now occurs
almost every. It has preyed on all other species with profound
effects. The stocks of haplochromines. originally comprised 80% of
the total fish biomass but have now decreased to less than 1%.
• Nile perch, known locally as sangara, began to appear in significant
numbers around Musoma and Mwanza in 1982.
• The fishermen of Lake Victoria have adjusted to this change
• Nile perch has become the most important commercial species.
For the first fish fillets are now being exported to several overseas
countries: the fillets are all from Nile perch.
CHANGES IN FISHERIES INDUSTRY
• The dramatic incursion and rapid ascendancy
of the exogenous Nile perch, L. niloticus, it
quickly became a dominant new feature of
the Victoria waters of Tanzania
• Serious declines are registered for the
Haplochromis species stocks; O. esculentus --
previously the most highly regarded and
commercially important tilapia species is
shown to have disappeared almost entirely.
CHANGES IN FISHERIES SECTOR
• The decline of cotton production, after the
decline of the crop’s price on the world
market and the death of co- operative
societies in Mwanza in early 1990s, had
changed the social economic development of
the region. The emergence of the Nile Perch
trade has created new opportunities for
development in the region.
INTERNATIONAL DEMAND FOR FISH
• GROWTH OF DEMAND FOR FISH FILLET FROM
• JAPAN AND AUSTRALIA
• GROWTH IN FISHERIES SECTOR
• INTRODUCTION OF FISH PROCESSING
• TRANSFORMATION OF THE FISHERIES
• the greater integration of the fishing
communities into the global market.
• LOSERS AND WINNERS
Fish Processing Industries in Mwanza
• Tanzania Fish Processors Ltd
Tanperch Industies Ltd
Nile perch Industries Ltd
Mwanza Fish Industries Ltd
Tanzania Fisheries Development Co. Ltd,
• Fish and Meat (T) Ltd
Victoria Fisheries Ltd
Omega Fish Factory
• Mwanza City Council received about Tshs 1.3 billion ($1.3
million) in fish levy from the sale of fresh Nile perch
processed by the fish plants between April and December
• Earnings for the central government in taxes and royalty
from exportation of Nile perch fillets were estimated at
Tshs 10 billion ($ 10 million) annually.
• Tanzania produces about 220,000 tones of fresh and frozen
fillets for export annually worth Tshs 77 billion ($77
• About 80 per cent of the total production of Nile perch
fillets are exported to Europe, while the rest is sold to the
• more than 19 fishlandings.
• The industry employs more 500,000 people.
• The fish industry has created direct and
• Changes in the social and economic nature of
the sector. Fishing is done mainly for
commercial purposes, contrary to the
traditional fishing which focused to household
• about 52,000 fishermen benefit directly from Nile perch.
• Sources indicate that in 1999/2000, local fishermen earned
Tsh 182 million ( $ 182,000) daily from selling their catch to
the fish processing plants.
• It is also estimated that local fishermen earn about Tsh 65.5
billion ($ 65.5 million) annually from the sale of Nile perch
to 12 fish processing plants that have sprung up around the
lake. There are chances that, these earnings may rise by 40
per cent depending on market prices and the availability of
the fish (Nile perch) from the Lake.
• Trade in the fish contributes about Tshs 1.7 billion ($ 1.7
Million) annually in levies to the Mwanza City Council
• Nile Perch trade has undermined artisan
fishing, denying income to traditional fishing
communities. New fishing require more
advanced gear. Mechanised fishing and
trawling has rendered artisanal fishing system
functionless. Artisanal fishermen and local fish
processors are being driven out of business.
• Benefits from Nile Perch trade are not fairly
• Social differentiation growing: owners of boats,
dug out canoe versus fishermen, low wages.
There is a growing tendencies towards monopoly
and control fisheries activities and incomes that
bring unfairness e.g. traders have control over
fishermen; factory operators gain more control
• Stratification: fishing crew; machinga at the lower
level, to boat owners, traders and factory agents
and factory owners.
• Local communities are being marginalised in the
• Little of the benefits go into improving the
livelihoods of the local community.
• Conditions at landing sites and villages nearby
have not improved. Increasing levels of poverty.
• Pricing of Nile Perch: The factory owners fix fish
prices. The bargaining power of the fish factory
agents, fishing crews, machinga and artisanal
processors is low as they have no collective
organization to promote their interests.
• Network between factory owners and fish traders at
• Factory owners ‘sponsor’ artisanal matajiri (fishing
vessel proprietors) by supplying nets and engines, the
matajiri in return being obliged to deliver their catch to
the factory. This effectively tied the matajiri to a
• This also facilitated further differentiation of chain
members as more wealthy matajiri graduated to
become trader/agents – purchasing fish from other
fishermen to supplement their own catch before on-
selling to the factories
• Food insecurity:
• Less fish stock is available for local consumption
as most of the catch is taken for factory
processing. Fish has become too expensive for
the local population to buy.
• Women being marginalized – traditional roles are
no longer there. Women are engaged as
“wamachinga” and processing of fish disqualified
for industrial processing due to size.
• Little trickling down of benefits to local
communities from the growing fish export
industry. The local village governments are
therefore unable to cater for the growing
requirements of population and settlement
dynamics along the lakeshores and in the
islands, such as service and infrastructure
development; civic institutional organization,
• But overdependence on one sector or sub-
sector of the economy makes it more
vulnerable to changes. There is need for
economic diversification to avoid risks of
• Environmental problems: Over-fishing and
pollution. Environmental degradation of
• Social conflicts: There is open access to fishery
resources. The growing competition for fish
resources has intensified conflicts between
users. The conflicts are between big fishers
and small scale fishers mainly using canoes,
between those using boats and those using
fish hooks, between Nile perch fishers and