Good Hope Africa


Fishing Industry


Tanzania is exceptionally endowed with some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, with substantial fish resources. The total area of the mainland Tanzania is 883,749, of which 53,480 sq km (or 6%) are freshwater lakes, leave alone the large and navigable rivers such Rufiji, Kagera, Ruvu, Pangani and Ruvuma where fishing is undertaken. Tanzania owns 51% of Lake Victoria, 45% of Lake Tanganyika, 20% of Lake Nyasa and several minor lakes, dams, reservoirs, swamps, rivers and small ponds suitable for aquaculture.

The coastline is 1450km long with a narrow continental shelf and an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Indian ocean of about 223,000 The fisheries potential for Tanzania is 730,000 metric tons per year.

Investment activities in fishing industry are regulated under the Fisheries Act of 1970 and its regulations of 1989 with subsequent amendments. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is responsible for permitting, controlling and issuing of licenses.



Tanzania has abundant freshwater lakes (6 percent of the total mainland area) with substantial fish resources. In addition it has an 800-kilometre coastline with a narrow continental shelf. Freshwater fisheries account for more than 80 percent of the landed catch.

An estimated 60,000 people are employed as full-time fishermen, while another 30,000 are engaged in part-time fishing and fisheries-related activities, such as fish processing, marketing, distribution, net-making, marine engine repair, boat-building and other activities.

Tanzania owns about 50 percent of Lake Victoria, 45 percent of Lake Tanganyika, 20 percent of Lake Nyasa and several minor lakes, dams, reservoirs, swamps, rivers and small ponds suitable for aquaculture. The major fish species caught are sardines, Nile perch, haplochromis, catfish and tilapia. Traditional methods are still used on the inland lakes, but modern fishing techniques are also employed in the coastal waters. There are significant opportunities for investors to establish fish processing plants, crustacean fisheries, and deep-sea fishing.

The Reforms

The fisheries resources are renewable resources, which are limited, and therefore they have to be conserved, managed and developed on sustainable basis. The present fisheries policy has addressed clearly the problems faced by the sector and the actions to be undertaken. The major focus is on the promotion of sustainable exploitation, utilization and marketing of fish resources to provide the intended national social economic objectives and achieve effective protection of the aquatic environment to sustain development.

The private sector, the community non-governmental organizations and other non-state actors have a useful role to play in the development, management and sustainable utilization of the fisheries resources. They have diverse experience, expertise and capacity in sector. Their support of efforts is required to achieve the sector objectives. The active involvement in the sector would enhance investment; improve business and general management in the fishing industry.


Imoprt & Export

Economic importance

Even though fishing constitutes only a small portion of Tanzania's GDP, it is, nevertheless, an important source of livelihood for many Kenyans and has been so for many years.

Many Kenyans engaged in fishing earn income from the activity. This income has been increasing over the years, although distribution is becoming increasingly more inequitable, with the export-oriented fish processing sector taking the lion's share.