ABOUT 2,100 small-scale fishermen operating along the Dar es Salaam shore face eviction following an order by Tanzania Harbours Authority to clear the harbour of small boats and trawlers.
The chairman of the Association of Small Fishermen in Dar es Salaam (Uwawada), Mr Addy Haidari, told The EastAfrican that THA has ordered small fishermen to move their vessels out of the Magogoni area where they currently operate.
Mr Haidari says the move will adversely affect the lives and incomes of 2,098 fishermen as well as the Dar es Salaam residents who depend on fish for their daily food. The move will also affect fishermen from Zanzibar, Mafia, Tanga, Bagamoyo and Kilwa who bring in fish to the Dar fish market and anchor their vessels along the Magogoni area - at the entrance to Dar port.
We still don't know where we will go because THA has not given us
an alternative site to operate from, he said.
Uwawada secretary general Mr Omary Shomary, told The EastAfrican that the fishermen were not opposed to the move to evict them but wanted a suitable alternative site.
Mr Shomary said about 187 fishing vessels would be affected by the move, warning that this would lead to a shortage of fish and force consumers pay more.
Tanzania fishermen currently harvest 730,000 tonnes of fish annually from the country's 320-km-Free Economic Zone that runs from Tanga to Msimbati in Mtwara.
In 1997, THA ordered all vessels anchored in the port area to be removed in order to implement a $24 million expansion project that included dredging and widening the port entrance channel and construction of the fish market.
However, THA has told the small fishermen to anchor their vessels at Minazi Mikinda, on the Kigamboni side of the Dar port channel, but the site is occupied by the Tanzania Navy and is too close to the ships' route into the harbour.
THA officials have proposed an alternative anchorage for small fishing vessels at Kimbiji, about 20 km from the port area, a proposal that is also opposed by the fishermen.