DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Saturday the country was losing millions of U.S. dollars due to lack of surveillance boats and weak maritime governance in the Indian Ocean and other water bodies.
Harrison Mwakyembe, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, said Tanzanian waters in the Indian Ocean were exposed to illegal fishing, illicit flow of imports and exports of fish products and toxic dumping conducted by giant foreign companies.
He said these problems remained persistent despite the country being a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nation's organ dealing with maritime matters.
The minister was inaugurating a newly established Maritime Law Association of Tanzania (MLAT) in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
However, Mwakyembe did not reveal the exact amount the country was losing from illegal fishing caused by lack of patrol boats.
He appealed to the private sector to intervene, saying their current participation in marine resources participation was minimal.
"The government needs the support of the private sector and professional bodies like MLAT," said Mwakyembe.
He said all major economies of the world have formed Maritime Law Associations and they have been registered under the Committee of Maritime International (CMI) established since 1897 as an umbrella organ for the associations.
He added that their major role was, among other things, to promote the study and the advancement of maritime and mercantile law.
Ibrahim Bendera, MALT acting president, said the association will assist the government to improve and appropriately develop maritime laws and help the courts in handling maritime cases.