Reasons why marine fishing is not yet developed in Tanzania

There are several reasons why marine fishing has not yet fully developed in Tanzania:

  • Narrow continental shelf and limited fish resources: Tanzania’s continental shelf is relatively narrow, which limits the availability of fish compared to countries with wider continental shelves. The limited fish resources make it challenging to sustain large-scale marine fishing operations.
Reasons why marine fishing is not yet developed in Tanzania
Photo by Ishay Botbol on
  • Warm currents and impact on fish breeding: The warm current in Mozambique, such as the Mozambique Current, influences the coastal waters of Tanzania, leading to warmer temperatures. Warmer waters can disrupt the natural breeding patterns of fish species, affecting their abundance and distribution.
  • Competition from developed countries: Developed countries like Japan and Korea have advanced fishing facilities, technology, and larger fishing fleets. These countries may engage in fishing activities in international waters near Tanzania, potentially impacting local fishing communities and reducing access to fish resources.

  • Lack of capital for modern vessels and equipment: The high costs associated with purchasing modern fishing vessels, equipment, and technologies pose a significant barrier to the development of marine fishing in Tanzania. Limited access to capital prevents fishermen from upgrading their fishing methods and technologies, limiting their ability to operate efficiently and sustainably.
  • Inadequate transport network: Tanzania’s lack of a well-developed transport network, particularly in rural and interior areas, hampers the efficient distribution and trade of fish. Limited infrastructure, including roads and cold storage facilities, makes it difficult to transport fish from coastal regions to inland markets, impacting the economic viability of marine fishing.

These factors combined contribute to the slower development of marine fishing in Tanzania. However, it’s worth noting that Tanzania has taken steps to promote sustainable fisheries management, invest in infrastructure, and seek international cooperation to address some of these challenges and develop its fishing industry.



Why major fishing grounds of the world are found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere:

  • Most of the coastlines are irregular hence favoring fish breeding.
  • There are large/more landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere than the south.
  • Continental shelves in this region are wide and shallow that favour the growth of planktons.
  • The cool climate experienced in the region favours fishing activities.
  • The regions are washed by many cold oceans currents that favour the existence of planktons/ fish.
  • There are many rivers that pour their water in the oceans thus providing nutrients for planktons

Pacific Fishing Grounds

This is further divided into

North West Pacific Fishing Ground

This is the largest fishing ground in the world.

It is located off the coast of North-East Asia extending from Barring Sea through the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea up to the East China Sea through the following countries; Japan,China, Malaysia, Indonesia, North & South Korea and Eastern Coasts of Russia

The major fish species caught in these grounds are salmon, tuna, bonito, mackerel,sardine, cod, Pollack.

Fishing is highly developed along this ground because of the following reasons:-

  • Broad, shallow and extensive continental shelf that favours the growth of planktons
  • Convergence of the cold Oyasiwo and warm Kurosiwo currents that makes the coast ice free allowing fishing all year round (warm Kurosiwo), provides ideal conditions for plankton growth (cold Oyasiwo)
  • Dense population in the Asian countries that lie astride the fishing ground e.g. Japan and China provide labour and ready market for the fish.
  • Indented North East Asian coastline with numerous islands, bays and sheltered inlets that favour fish breeding and development of fishing ports.

  • Advanced technology especially in Japan has encouraged the development of fishing and facilitated transport of fish e.g. through ship building and refrigeration of ships.
  • Limited agricultural potential especially in Japan and Eastern Russia with rugged landscape that discourages agricultural development; leaving fishing as alternative source of food.

North East Pacific Fishing Ground

This is located along the western shores of North America, stretching about 1200km from the Alaskan coast (USA) southwards through British Columbia (Canada) to the Californian Coast (USA) through Washington DC and Oregon states.

Fishing is also done along the major rivers in this region (mention some)

The main fish species caught in this ground are salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, Pollack, and Alaska.

Others include crabs, shrimps, oysters, and prawns

Factors favouring fishing in this ground include:

  • Indented coastlines with many fiords, rias and river estuaries that offer good sites for fish breeding and development of fish ports.
  • Cool waters as a result of high latitudinal location that favour plankton growth.

  • Convergence of the cold Californian and the warm Labrador currents along the segrounds lead to cool temperatures that favour plankton growth
  • These grounds are free from ice all year round since the cold temperatures are moderated by the warm Labrador Current flowing into the area. This ensures fishing throughout the year.
  • Advanced fishing technology that has provided modern fishing equipment and preservation facilities.

African Fishing Grounds

– Africa is not a major exporter and producer of fish and fish products despite having numerous rivers, lakes and being surrounded by seas and oceans. This is because: –

  • Ocean waters are warm/coasts washed by warm ocean currents that limit plankton growth (give example)
  • The coastlines are straight/regular thus discourages fish breeding and development of fishing ports. (expose with an example – Indian Ocean coastline).
  • Ocean waters are shallow due to growth of corals/coral reefs
  • The continental shelves are narrow.

Fishing grounds in South Atlantic Ocean

There are minor fishing grounds along the Atlantic coast that are found in the southern hemisphere.

They include: –

South West African/Namibian Coast

covers the coast of Namibia and Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa. It is rich in fish because it is washed by the cold Benguela current; which results in the upwelling of water hence rich in planktons.

Mauritanian Coast

this is found in the northwest African Coast. It is rich in fish since it has a wide and shallow continental shelf and the presence of the cold Canary current that allows plankton growth.

West Coast of South America

this covers the coast of Peru in South America. It is rich in fish because of the cold Peruvian current and the wide and shallow continental shelf.

North East Atlantic Fishing Ground

This is located in the north western part of Europe.

It passes through France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Portugal.

It is the leading fish exporting region in the world.

The main fish species caught here are cod, herring and mackerel.
The main fishing methods employed along these grounds are trawling, drifting and line fishing

Atlantic Fishing Grounds

These are found in the Atlantic ocean

This is further divided into

North West Atlantic Fishing Ground

This is located in the northeastern coasts of North America from the eastern coasts of Canada to New England in the USA through the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

The main fish species caught here include cod, herring, haddock, mackerel, and lobster.

The fishing methods used here include seining, trawling and drifting

Types of Fish

Fish can be classified according to habitat into freshwater fish and saline/salty/marine water fish.

Freshwater fish are those fish species that live in fresh inland waters – lakes, rivers & ponds/dams.

They include tilapia, trout, Nile perch, pike, eel, carp, sturgeon, dagaa, etc. Marine/salty water fish are those that live their entire lives in saline fisheries such as the ocean and seas.


The fishing industry is all processes that involve the extraction of fishes and other aquatic animals and processing them for final consumption.

The fishing industry is well developed in Norway and it takes place in the north sea. Norway is the leading country in the fishing sector in Europe.

Fishing is done in the sea because fish farming inland is difficult due to the harsh climate. The species commonly fished are cod and herring.

 Image result for FISHING IN NORWAY

The following are factors for the development of the fishing industry in Norway

  • Good transport and communication. for example there are advanced ports like Trondeim, Alesund and Oslo
  • Strong support from the government. Government support the industry by training the expert in the field and making strong policies to support the industry

  • The presence of wide variety of fish species like capelin, cod, herring and sprats.
  • The use of modern fishing methods like trawling and drift netting.
  • Capital for investing in fisheries is readily available.
  • The presence of continental shelf that provide shallow water and fish food (plankton).
  • Long indented coastline, which provide fishing grounds and sheltered harbors
  • Readily available market due to high demand of balanced diet in urban areas and Europe as whole
  • Power availability especially HEP. Power is needed in fish processing factories and in operating fridges for preserving the fishes


what is deep-sea fishing?

Deep-sea fishing is a kind of fishing that requires a trip out into the Atlantic ocean and its deep waters and requires a trip up the Intercoastal Waterway out into the ocean far from land.

The water depth should be at least 30 meters to be considered a deep-sea fishing area

The following are methods which are used in deep sea fishing


in this method the drift nets hang vertically like a table tennis net.

This method is used in catching pelagic fish. the fish gills are caught in the mesh when the fish try to swim across the drift net


Trawling is a commercial fishing method used to catch large quantities of fish. It involves towing a large net, called a trawl, behind a fishing vessel. The net is designed to open wide and capture fish as it is dragged through the water. Deep sea trawling targets various species, including shrimp, cod, haddock, and pollock.


by the use of power fired harpoons which normally carry an explosive charge. It is used in catching whales, especially in japan.


that involves the use of haul seine or purse seine. their features are between drift net and trawler net.

The seine net is pulled to surround a shoal of fish. it is used by fishermen in a small boat or by land-based fishermen

Seining is a versatile fishing method that can be adapted to different environments and target various fish species. It is often employed for capturing schooling fish, such as herring, mackerel, sardines, or even larger fish like salmon. However, it’s important to note that local regulations and sustainability measures must be followed to ensure the responsible use of this fishing method and the protection of fish populations and their habitats.



in which lines fitted with hooks are used to catch fish.

it is used where trawlers and seine nets can not be used, especially where the seafloor is rugged. It is used for large fish like tuna.

The fishing industry or fisheries refer to activities that involve the establishment, development, and exploitation of different fish resources.

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