Fisheries are an important source of food, income and nutrition in Tanzania, where 25% of the country’s population depend on coastal resources or inland lakes for their livelihoods. Over 180,000 people are employed in the fisheries sector, with a further 19,223 people involved in fish farming.

Current fish production is around 376,000 metric tons a year, with around 97% of fish sourced from small-scale fisheries. The remaining 10,317 metric tons comes from large scale commercial fishing. Aquaculture produces an additional 10 317 tonnes including seaweed (450 tonnes); and despite its huge potential, is largely untapped. There are presently 21,300 fish ponds used for aquaculture.

Despite the country’s low consumption of fish, at 5.6 kg/person/year, fish makes up 19.7% of the country’s animal protein intake.

WorldFish in Tanzania

WorldFish is working with the Tanzania Government and development partners to increase aquaculture production, reduce postharvest fish losses, enhance the role of fish in nutrition, including boost fish consumption by women and children, and encourage better management of small-scale coastal and inland fisheries. WorldFish, one of the few organizations doing aquaculture and fisheries research in Tanzania, will deliver this work by drawing on its strong networks with national and regional fisheries organizations such as Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), University of Dar es Salaam and Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA) and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO), respectively.

Through our partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam we are providing scholarships to national and regional students and supporting them to conduct research to understand the magnitude of cross-border trade flows between Tanzania and neighbouring states; promotion of participation of women in cross-border trade and application of technical and safety standards on cross-border fish. Through East African Community (EAC) we are assisting the government of Tanzania and others in the EAC trade block, to integrate fish in their national trade strategies, as well as promote cross-border trade on some selected One-Stop-Border-Posts (OSBPs). Our on-going work with LVFO has focused on (i) documenting the value and contribution of Dagaa fisheries to the East African Region’s food security and economy; and (ii) developing mechanisms for improving utilization and trade in Dagaa through provision of information and trade networks for enhanced food security and incomes.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Enhance the role of fish in national food and nutrition security agenda
  • Enhancing governance of coastal and inland small-scale fisheries
  • Post-harvest management in fish value chains from Lake Victoria
  • Increasing the consumption of capture fish by pregnant and lactating women, and by infants;
  • Enhancing governance of coastal small-scale fisheries
  • Investment and policy research to increase women and youth participation and benefits derived from aquaculture and aquaculture-related activities
  • Increasing farmed fish production (Tilapia)

Anticipated Impacts (by 2022)

  • 0.11M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
  • 0.10M people, of which at least 50% are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 0.13M people, of which 50% are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 0.13M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
  • 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10% increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.04M tonnes of fish per annum
  • 0.01M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of SSF resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds

Featured Partners