EMEDO and Local Governments Unite for Safer Fishing Practices with the Safe Fishing Plan

May 2024 – Mwanza, Tanzania

– In a groundbreaking initiative to improve safety and sustainability in fishing practices around Lake Victoria, EMEDO, in partnership with local governments and Beach Management Units (BMUs), has introduced a comprehensive Safe Fishing Plan (SFP). This effort is part of the Lake Victoria Drowning Prevention Project (LVDPP), funded by the Royal National Lifeboats Institution (RNLI).

The Safe Fishing Plan aims to address and reduce the risks associated with fishing activities. By updating BMU bylaws, the plan ensures that all social and commercial activities at the landing sites of Sweya (Nyamagna, Mwanza), Buzegwe and Musozi (Ukerewe, Mwanza), Goziba and Mulumo (Muleba, Kagera), and Busekera and Kome (Musoma, Mara) are regulated with safety as a priority.

The development of the SFP involved a broad range of stakeholders from the fishing sector. These stakeholders reviewed and enhanced the existing BMU bylaws, focusing on refining offense classifications, penalties, and guidelines for safe practices at the landing sites. The draft of the SFP was widely approved in local government village meetings, public meetings, and Ward Development Committee (WDC) sessions. This inclusive approach ensured the plan’s acceptance and suitability for implementation, promising significant benefits for the local communities.

The next stage involves presenting the Safe Fishing Plan to the district council for final approval, followed by its implementation in the respective communities. This critical step aims to embed the safety measures within local fishing practices, thereby reducing the incidence of drowning accidents and promoting a safer fishing environment.

This initiative arose from the realization of gaps in the existing BMU bylaws, which posed significant risks to fishermen, fish processors, and surrounding communities. By addressing these shortcomings, EMEDO and its partners aim to foster a safer, more sustainable fishing culture that contributes to the growth of the Blue Economy. The introduction of the Safe Fishing Plan marks a significant milestone in enhancing safety and sustainability in Tanzania’s fishing industry, demonstrating the power of community involvement and collaborative efforts.

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