Allot enough funds for operating patrol boat, public entities urged

By Carlos Banda , The Guardian
Published at 11:29 AM Apr 23 2024
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa views one of newly acquired patrol boats meant for use in combating illegal fishing shortly before he graced its launch in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.
Photo: Carlos Banda
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa views one of newly acquired patrol boats meant for use in combating illegal fishing shortly before he graced its launch in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has tasked public institutions to allocate budgets to finance operations to combat illegal marine activities in the ocean and great lake areas.

Majaliwa made the call in Dar es Salaam over the weekend at the handover and inauguration of the new patrol speedboat to curb illegal activities in the sea and great lake areas emphasizing that the department responsible must come up with strategies to boost maritime security efforts.

“The government is already working on the budget for the financial year 2024/25. The ministries and institutions involved with the use of the patrol boat must ensure they allocate funds to operate the boat. We do not want to see the boat inactive with reasons that the ministry has no money to operate it. Go and get the funds to do so,” he said.

He added: “The government initiated the project to curb marine criminal activities in the sea and lakes to ensure our country remains safe. The project costs $900,000 and has been a vital part of boosting maritime security efforts. I call on heads of department to plan effective strategies against piracy, illegal fishing, transportation of narcotics, and smuggling of natural resources.”

Majaliwa said that a communication strategy for both sides of the union to enhance efforts to fight off illegal activities in the ocean without forgetting the lakes adding that, irresponsibility and lack of accountability should be avoided.

Yasushi Misawa, the Ambassador of Japan in Tanzania, said Japan is committed to contributing to Maritime Security and safety under the vision of Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) – a concept that enhances peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region through ensuring rules-based international order.

“Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reaffirmed the importance of promoting regional and international efforts related to maritime security including the fight against piracy, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and other maritime crimes. On that occasion, Prime Minister Kishida had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and agreed on the importance of our cooperation in the Blue Economy,” he said.

Misawa said the UNDP project was developed to tackle illegal maritime activities by strengthening the capacity of the responsible agencies and assisting fishing communities, adding that, in May last year, a National Framework Coordination Mechanism for Tackling Illegal Maritime Activities was launched.

“This year the coastal communities were capacitated through training and provision of fish drying racks. Today, we are here to witness an important part of this project, the handover of a patrol boat to the government of Tanzania to strengthen the country’s ability to interdict illicit activities within the waters of Tanzania,” he said.

Shigeki Komatsubara, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, said illegal unreported and unregulated illegal fishing poses a great threat to maritime ecosystems with global economic sources estimated at $50bn globally and annually.

“Tanzania’s experience with substantial financial losses recognizes the critical role of maritime security in sustainable economic development, environmental preservation and national security. I cannot stress this enough that investment in robust maritime security is essential to safeguard the coastal areas and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. In this increasingly eventful world, Tanzania stands for peace, unity, stability and prosperity. UNDP is proud to be associated with the government of Japan and the government of Tanzania in this very important endeavour,” he said.

Komatsubara said the blue economy presents vast opportunities to Tanzania’s economic growth contributing significantly to Tanzania’s gross value added, highlighting that, in 2020, the sector contributed $22bn to Tanzania’s gross value added and employed over 2 million people.

“To sustain these benefits, maintenance of maritime security and safety is of paramount importance. To address maritime security challenges requires collective action. Today’s inauguration of the patrol boat underscores our tripartite partnership between the government of Japan, the government of Tanzania and UNDP to advance maritime security in Tanzania through tackling illegal maritime activities projects through the generous contribution by the government of Japan through a supplementary budget of $500,000 supplemented by $400,000 from UNDP’s own resources,’ he said.

Komatsubara added: “It reflects our commitment to enhance maritime safety and I wish to applaud the recent Japanese government contribution of $2.5m to revive the Tanzania fisheries corporation which demonstrated continuing commitment to the blue economy sector. UNDP wishes to reaffirm its commitment to collaborate with the government of Tanzania to contribute to and achieve and in so doing contribute to our common sustainable development goals and propel forward the blue economy sector for the prosperity of all in Tanzania.