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J.K. Smart
Project Coordinator
Fishery Planners Project
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania


Commercial ring net units have been operated by Greek fishermen on Lake Tanganyika for 25 years. This paper details the setting up and trial operation of an artisanal purse seine unit suitable for use by villagers. Actual landings during 13 lunar months totalled 198 metric tons valued at Tsh 337 592 (US$ 40 624). An investment appraisal for the building of units in 1978 estimates that an investment cost of Tsh 311 075 (US$ 37 433) for one unit based at Kigoma would provide a yearly cash balance of Tsh 163 622 (US$ 19 690) equivalent to an accounting rate of return of 48 percent. Discussion is given on the introduction of similar units in Kigoma harbour, including consideration of the marketing aspect. The possibility of introducing units into remote villages is also discussed.


Depuis vingt-cinq ans, les pêcheurs grecs exploitent à des fins commerciales sur le lac Tanganyika des unités qui utilisent des filets tournants. Le présent document traite de la création et des essais d'une telle unité, qui permettra aux ruraux d'utiliser la senne à ligne coulissante dans le cadre d'une activité artisanale. Les débarquements effectués au cours de treize mois lunaires ont totalisé 198 tonnes de produits, soit en valeur 337 592 Sh. tanzaniens (40 624 dollars E.U.). Selon une étude d'investissement destinée à la construction de ces bateaux en 1978, on estime que les frais d'investissement pour une de ces unités basée à Kigoma atteindraient 311 075 Sh tanzaniens (37 433 dollars E.U.), ce qui procurerait une encaisse annuelle de 163 622 Sh tanzaniens (19 690 dollars E.U.), soit l'équivalent d'un taux de rendement comptable de 48 pour cent. Le document envisage la mise en service de plusieurs unités de ce type à Kigoma, compte tenu de diverses considérations commerciales. Il examine également la possibilité de le faire dans des villages plus reculés.


Commercial ring net units have been operating on Lake Tanganyika for about 25 years. They were introduced by Greek fishermen in Burundi waters and, due to their success, this method of fishing has spread to all the lacustrine countries of Lake Tanganyika. Their area of operation, in Tanzania, Zambia and Zaire, has been restricted to the immediate vicinity of population centres with harbours and roads for marketing the catch. Burundi has the advantage of a lakeside road, fishermen can locate their boats at many of the sheltered bays on the Burundi shoreline and, after fishing, transport their catches by road to the various markets.

A typical commercial unit consists of a main boat (up to 16 m) 110 HP engine with winch, a 7 m ancillary boat and five lamp boats; all the boats are built in steel. The ring net is about 100 m deep by 350 m long. The total capital cost at 1977 prices is approximately $100 000.

One of these units was subcontracted by the Lake Tanganyika Fishery Research and Development Project from June 1974 to April 1975, to undertake exploratory fishing in conjunction with a biological research programme. Records were kept of the operating and maintenance costs, as well as the fish catches and revenue. The total fish landings from this unit for the 11-month period was 720 metric tons valued at US$ 103 970. If the high salary of an expatriate masterfisherman were substituted for a lower cost local masterfisherman, an accounting rate of return of over 50 percent would have been achieved.


The FAO/UNDP fishery projects in Burundi (BDI/73/020) and Kigoma (URT/71/012) from 1971 to 1977 have been estimating the total biomass and maximum sustainable yield from the lake. The estimates of total fish biomass, based on acoustic surveys, have varied between 500 000 tons 1 and 2 600 000 tons 2. The estimates of maximum sustainable yield in recent years have varied between 22 kg/ha 3 and 100 kg/ha 4. The fish yield in Burundi waters, based on catch/effort data, has been estimated at 90 kg/ha 5. There will not be sufficient data to calculate sustainable yields from catch/effort data in Tanzanian waters until the 1980's.

Estimates of the annual catch from Tanzanian waters have been as high as 53 476 metric tons, which is approximately equivalent to 40 percent of the potential catch, but catches have declined since 1973 due to a reduction in the size or the industry due to external factors 6. Over 95 percent of the present fishing effort is limited to within 5 km of the shore, due to the limited range of the canoes and the fishing gear used. The open waters of the lake (over 5 km from the lake shore) are therefore virtually unexploited.

1 Mathiesen (1975)
2 Johanneson (1974)
3 Coulter (1975)
4 Rufli (personal communication 1977)
5 Turner and Herman (1977)
6 Bazigos (1975)


3.1 Political

All the development activities in Tanzania should be within the socialist ideology of the Government as outlined in the Arusha Declaration of 1967. The main strategy for development is self-reliance. The policy of self-reliance means that as far as possible the development of Tanzania has to be based on local resources.

One of the guidelines for implementing the Arusha Declaration is the policy paper “Socialism and Rural Development” which calls for the use of the Ujumaa Village 7 as the means to achieve a higher and more satisfactory form of socialist living 8.

7 Ujumaa Village, a village where its members live together and work together, the results of their joint efforts being divided equally among themselves, each according to work done
8 “Towards Ujumaa”, Gabriel Ruhumbika (1974)

3.2 Development strategy

The FAO/UNDP Lake Tanganyika Fishery Research and Development Project (URT/71/012) had as one of its immediate objectives : “To improve fishing methods and thereby enable the exploitation of the largely untapped resources of the offshore waters”. The project, bearing in mind the research findings and considerations outlined in paras 2 and 3.1, included the development of a purse seine unit in its work plan. In the planning of this activity the following criteria were considered:

  1. The fishing unit to have a high percentage of local materials and craftsmanship

  2. Labour intensive to provide employment on a Ujamaa Village basis

  3. Fishing operation simple enough to be operated by villagers without an advanced level of education and training, and in villages with no repair facilities

  4. Capable of fishing in the offshore area of the lake with safety for fishing unit and crew.

  5. Capable of fishing for a high percentage of small fish (dagaa) that can be processed and marketed easily.

  6. The capital cost to be not larger than TRED loans given to an agricultural village (US$ 50 000).


4.1 The main boat

An FAO Naval Architect designed a 9 m wooden fishing boat, based on the existing traditional boatbuilding expertise at Ujiji. The boats are known as “water taxis” and carry cargo and passengers between villages and Kigoma. They are up to 20 m and powered by outboard engines. A modified water taxi was constructed with a larger beam, planked dock, and an inboard 22 HP engine (Fig. 1). This boat has now been in operation for 12 months. The layout of the boat is quite satisfactory for the fishing operation, but the quality of the wood and the construction methods have caused the boat to need substantial repair on three occasions.

The surveyor responsible for licensing of the water taxis used for carrying cargo and passengers limits their usage to within 3 km of the coast, due to the rough weather encountered offshore. Even with this restriction there have been several accidents to these boats, causing the loss of about 200 lives during the last three years. The design and construction method is therefore not thought to be the prototype for large-scale investment in this type of fishery. The FAO Fishery Development Project BDI/73/007 in Burundi has built and operated two catamarans of different design for artisanal ring netting. An FAO Technical Cooperation Project has has been requested by the Government of Tanzania to design and construct a single-hull steel purse seine boat and evaluate the best building medium and design for artisanal ring net units on Lake Tanganyika. It is envisaged that comparative fishing trials would be conducted with catamarans from Burundi. Estimations on the comparative building costs of single-hull steel and wooden purse-seiners have been made and are detailed in Appendix 1. There is no significant difference between the total cost of these boats. The cost of engine, steering gear, electricity installation, anchors, davits, safety equipment and other ancillary equipment, comprising over 60 percent of the total cost of T.Sh. 120 000, is the same for each boat. A detailed study of “Cost estimates of small fishing vessels in Malawi using various materials” 9 shows very similar costs for construction in steel, wood and ferro-cement.

9 Whiting (1977)

The one real advantage of the wooden construction is the use of local material. The only wood that can be used for boat construction is also an important export commodity so the foreign exchange costs of importing steel can be offset by the export of the wood not used for boat building.

The advantage of building in steel is considered to be a safe boat, with an estimated life of over 20 years. Steel boats with a life of over 50 years are in operation in Lake Tanganyika and other African freshwater lakes and are remarkably free from corrosion even when the hulls are devoid of protective paint.

Fig. 1
  1. Shows a typical Lake Tanganyika “water taxi” about 35–40 ft long, powered by a 20 hp outboard motor and used for transporting people and goods

  2. Is an FAO-designed modified version for small-scale purse seining.

Fig. 1 Lake Tanganyika water taxi, modified for artisanal purse seines

4.2 Auxiliary and light boats

One light boat was constructed in steel of similar size and form to those used with the commercial ring netters (5.35 m × 1.80 m × .65 m). This was, however, used as an ancillary boat (see Fig. 2). The construction cost was T.Sh. 10 000.

Three light boats were constructed in steel, similar to FAO design (see Fig. 3) but modified as a lamp boat. The construction cost was T.Sh. 8 000 each.

4.3 The net

A nylon purse seine net 142 m × 46 m deep was used for the first three fishing periods (pre-August 1976). The net was constructed by the crew of the boat under the supervision of the masterfisherman. All the materials were purchased locally, the netting was made in Tanzanian net factories, and lead weights were manufactured from old vehicle batteries. The cost of this net was T.Sh. 40 000 (US$ 4 813) in 1976. During 56 days fishing between June and August a high percentage of large fish (migebuka and lates) was caught - June (12 days) 81.5 percent, July (22 days) 93.5 percent, August (22 days) 94.3 percent - which did not meet the criteria established in para 3.2 (5) of catching a high percentage of small fish (dagaa and lumbo).

The net was modified, with the changing of a large portion of the net to a smaller mesh of imported knotless netting, at the end of August. During 15 days fishing in September the large fish still constituted 81.8 percent of the catch. In addition the net was very difficult to handle; the knotless netting hung like a sheet in the water instead of sinking quickly. This did not improve appreciably after use so the net was further modified by changing to knotted netting. The costs of material had increased considerably in the six months, the final net was then costed at T.Sh. 100 000 (US$ 12 034) (September 1976). There was a dramatic increase in the catch of small fish — October (17 days) 79.5 percent, November (23 days) 95 percent—when this modified net was put into use.


5.1 Crew

A Tanzanian masterfisherman, employed as counterpart to the FAO masterfisherman, was in control of the fishing operations after one month's on-board training. He was assisted by three senior fishermen who had a number of years' experience operating as crew members of the commercial ring net units. All these fishermen are capable of operating the fishing unit. It is considered that more training of these fishermen in both fish location and operation of the net under different conditions would improve the quantity of fish caught. Twelve other crew were employed; all had previous experience with a commercial ring net unit. Five project staff were also given training in the operation of the unit. At times 20 crew were aboard the five boats of the fishing unit. Fifteen crew are necessary as all the hauling of the net is by hand, due to no winch being provided.

The crew were employed on a daily basis at T.Sh. 17/50 per day. The senior fishermen were paid T.Sh. 25.00 per day and received a cash bonus of T.Sh. 1.00 per box of fish landed. They also received, together with ordinary crew members, a bonus of fish varying with the landings made.

A description of the methods used in fish location and operation of purse seine net units is described by Andrianos.10

10 Andrianos (1977)

Fig. 2

Fig. 2 MFV TUMAINI with No. 2 boat in Kigoma harbour

Fig. 3

Fig. 3 Lamp boat for artisanal purse seine fishing, general arrangement

Fig. 4

Fig. 4 Modified artisanal purse seine

Fig. 5

Fig. 5 Preparing lamps on lamp boat

Table 1

Summary of fish landings
835 operating days (13 moon periods)
23 June 1976 to 22 June 1977

FishWt. in kg%Value in T.Sh%Price/kg
Lumbo20 08310.1043 36312.842.16
Dagaa40 50120.3746 86113.881.16
Migebuka129 928  65.35227 355 67.351.75
Lates 6 653  3.3517 283  5.722.60
Juvenile migebuka 1 690.   83   2 730  0.811.63
Total198 835   100.00  337 592100.00  1.70
= kg 198 835US$ 40 625Price per kg US$ 0.20 

Table 2

Comparison of fish landings by value and species between Uvuvi Kigoma Ltd. and MFV TUMAINI
July to December 1976

Value of landings by Uvuvi Kigoma Ltd.1
 Value in T.Sh.%
Dagaa  67 39310.38
Migebuka366 81956.48
Lates215 24833.14
Total649 462100.00  
Value of landings ex MFV TUMAINI 
 Value in T.Sh.%
Lumbo, dagaa and juvenile migebuka  70 10535.67
Migebuka114 55458.28
Lates  11 904  6.05
 196 563100.00 
1 Three commercial boats but only one with a very poor net operating on a regular basis

5.2 Management

The shore management of the unit from June 1976 to January 1977 was undertaken by the FAO Project Manager with the assistance of the FAO masterfisherman and an accounts clerk. The fish was sold at the landing jetty under the supervision of the FAO marketing expert and his counterpart. Revenue was banked daily and record sheets of landings kept.

The Co-Manager took over the responsibility of management in February 1977 and continued the same system of banking and recording the catches daily.


The total catch for the 12 calendar months was 198 835 kg valued at T.Sh. 337 592 (US$ 40 625), the average price of the fish being T.Sh. 1.70 (US$ 0.20). The catches and values are for the actual fish caught. The actual revenue was reduced by T.Sh. 28 110, which was the value of fish given as bonus payment to crew members; this averaged 8.33 percent of the total value of the catch, leaving a net revenue of T.Sh. 309 482 (US$ 37 242) or T.Sh. 1 317 per day. A summary of fish landings by species is given in Table 1. Despite the efforts to maximize the catches of small fish, only 31.3 percent constituted small fish (dagaa, lumbo and juvenile migebuka). Lates, which is the largest fish, only constituted 3.55 percent of the catch, whereas 65.35 percent was migebuka. This is thought to be due to migebuka being at the peak of a seven-year abundance cycle.

The value of fish by species, but not weight, is available for three commercial ring-netters operated by Uvuvi Kigoma Limited (Table 2). The percentage by value of migebuka caught by the two boats is very similar but the percentage of small species caught by MFV TUMAINI is about 3.5 times as high and the largest fish (lates) is 5.5 times less than that caught by the commercial boats.

There is a significant variation between the composition of the catch throughout the year, which gave a good migebuka fishing period from January to August. Lumbo and dagaa were important from September to December (see Appendix 3). These are the seasons for ring net fishing from kigoma but the catches of dagaa are usually higher in a normal year.


7.1 Capital costs

The costs of the MFV TUMAINI fishing unit have been estimated at December 1976 commercial prices and are shown in Table 3 11 which also shows the yearly depreciation rate. As the unit was built with Government funds, no payments were made for interest. Depreciation costs per fishing day (235 days) was calculated at T.Sh. 173.

7.2 Operating costs

Information is available for the 12 months fishing to give a fairly accurate estimate of the average operating costs expected from this type of fishing unit (see Table 4). Separate accounts were kept during the FAO operation of the unit from June 1976 to January 1977. (Table 5). Deductions have been made from the actual expenditures for exceptional items of expenditure, considered as research expenses which will not reoccur (modification of net, etc.) It has been difficult to extract the exact consumption of diesel and other expenses from the Government accounts kept during their operation of the unit from February 1977 to June 1977, as it is obvious that fuel has been supplied to project research and passenger vessels from the expenditure stated. It is estimated that, with allowances being made for exceptional items of expenditure and with payments of the crew (see para 5.1), the average operating costs were T.Sh. 530 per day. If depreciation (on a straight line basis) is added, total costs were T.Sh. 703 per day.

11 The cost to Government was in fact 50 percent lower as most of the materials were bought in 1974 and construction done at the project with the assistance of FAO staff

Table 3

Cost of the MFV TUMAINI fishing unit

Initial capital investment
CategoryT.Sh.Useful lifeYearly depreciation
(straight line) T.Sh.
Main boat75 000107 500
Engine, main boat45 000  59 000
Anciliary boat, light boats and lamps40 500104 050
Ring net100 000    520 000  
Working capital10 000  
Total270 500   40 550 

Table 4

Average operating costs (T.Sh)

Running and MaintenanceJune/Jan
8 months
(140 days)
4 months
(78 days)
1 month
(17 days)
(13 mths)
(235 days)
Less excepted itemsEstimated average costs per year
Diesel, kerosene4 57012 00080017 3709 6007 770
Mantels, glasses, matches11 826-20012 02610 0002 026
Net repairs33 28110010033 48130 0003 481
Engine repairs2 188-1002 288(2 712)5 000
Boat repairs5004 500-5 000-5 000
 52 36516 6001 20070 16546 88823 277
Less exceptional items40 0009 600 49 600  
 12 3657 0001 20020 565 23 277
Crew wages62 52634 0007 500104 026  
Total operating costs74 89141 0008 700124 591  
Operating costs per fishing day535526512530  

Fig. 6

Fig. 6 Artisanal unit sailing at dusk

Fig. 7

Fig. 7 A good catch of migebuka

Table 5

Analysis of costs of MFV TUMAINI 23 June 1976 to 5 January 1977

Running and MaintenanceT. Sh.T.Sh.
Fuel- Diesel and kerosene  
 Diesel, 3 drums1 200 
 Kerosene4 370 
  5 570 
 Less stock1 000  4 570
 3 lamps  855 
 350 Indian and Chinese lamp glasses   9 310 1 
 510 mantles   1 140 1 
 12 Petromax cup glasses   500 
 Matches     2111 826
Net repairs 2 33 281
Engine maintenance and repairs   2 188
Boat repairs      500
52 365

1 Lamps available in Kigoma broke very easily, also damaging the mantle. Eventually this was found to be due to the glass melting after continuous use for 8 h. Petromax lamp glasses were substituted and minimal breakages now occur

2 Modification to net T.Sh. 30 000


The costs and earnings of one year's fishing with MFV TUMAINI are brought together in Table 6. The costs have been modified so that non-recurring development expenditures (net modifications, etc.) and expenditures for other purposes than fishing operations have been excluded. Thus, during the calendar year mid-1976 to mid-1977, the MFV TUMAINI had net earnings of about T.Sh. 160 000 from 235 days fishing. The positive cash balance was close to T.Sh. 200 000 (157 749 + 40 550). Without further analysis it is evident that this fishing unit was exceptionally profitable during its first year of operation.

It should also be stressed that the characteristics of the fishing operations coincide with the development policy of the region in the sense that more than half the costs of operation consist of salaries and the use of imported, non-local inputs is low. In fact, an economic evaluation, carried out from the point of view of the economy of Kigoma Region, would most likely lead to conclusions even more favourable than those arrived at by looking at the activities as purely commercial.

Table 6

Costs1 and earnings of MFV TUMAINI June 1976 - June 1977

Sales Revenue 337 592
 Operating costs  
  supplies  23 277 
  crew104 026 
  shore-based management  12 000 
   139 293 
Capital costs  
  depreciation  40 550 
  interest paid on loans  
     40 550 
Total costs 179 843
Sales revenue after total costs157 749
1 Corrected for non-recurring development expenditures (net modification) and expenditures not caused by fishing operations

Table 7

Capital costs of purse seine net unit, 1978

Initial capital investment  
CategoryT.Sh.Useful lifeYearly depreciation
(straight line) T.Sh.
Main boat  86 25010  8 825
Engine, main boat  51 750  510 350
Anciliary boat, light boats and lamps  46 57510  4 675
Ring net113 000  523 000
Working capital  11 500  
Total311 075 46 650


9.1 Ownership

In this chapter we will make an appraisal of a ring net unit from the point of view of ownership by Ujumaa Village, but assume that the unit will be fishing from Kigoma harbour. Emphasis will be placed upon identifying any modifications in unit prices paid or received.

9.2 Investment and capital costs

The costs of all equipment have been taken as 15% higher than those given in para 7.1 (December 1976) to allow for inflation. These costs are detailed in Table 7, totalling T.Sh. 311 075, making an annual depreciation of T.Sh. 46 650 or T.Sh. 198.5 per fishing day (235-day year).

The Tanzanian Rural Development Bank makes loans to Ujumaa Villages for fishing investment repayable over ten years at an annual rate of 8.5% on the outstanding balance. They also allow a two-year grace period.

9.3 Operating costs

Table 8 details the estimated costs. Interest and depreciation are higher than the MFV TUMAINI operation due to the dearer capital costs with the estimated inflation factor of 15%; an insurance rate of 2% on value of the boats (excluding the nets) has been taken. Shore-based management has been taken as 10% dearer. The total of the above fixed cost is estimated at T.Sh. 91 000.

It is considered that the variable costs could be reduced by keeping the manning level of the unit to 15 fishermen, although an increment of 10% is made for higher daily pay rates. The same inflation factor is used to estimate the costs of fuel, spares, etc. All these variable costs are estimated to total T.Sh. 124 890. The total operating costs are therefore estimated at T.Sh. 218 600, or T.Sh. 930 per day.

9.4 Fishing effort and catch

Fishing can be carried out during all the 13 lunar months of the year if the fishing unit is well maintained. Even in the poorest fishing months it is possible to cover all operating costs and have a profit. Although the weather on the lake can be very severe, it is only on very rare occasions that fishing cannot be carried out during some part of the night.

The normal fishing month is 22 days of the darkest nights in the lunar month, leaving six nights with no fishing. These six nights provide a break for the crew who are required to work during all the weekly rest days and public holidays falling within the fishing period. It is possible with good management to carry out all maintenance work either during the day in the fishing period, or during the six days fishing break if a major engine or boat hull overhaul is required.

Considering these factors, a target of 286 fishing nights for the year should be set. This target has already been achieved by a commercial ring net unit operating from Kigoma.

9.5 Sales

A provision in the costings has been made for shore-based management which would be responsible, with the masterfisherman, for the boat-side sales of the catch. The Regional Authorities are planning for a parastatal company to operate a Fish Receiving Station (already constructed at Kigoma.) The Ujumaa Village would therefore negotiate, on a yearly basis, for the sale of the majority of the catch to that company, who would arrange for the fish to be distributed from Kigoma. It may be prudent for the Ujumaa Village to be able to retain a proportion of the fish catch for their own consumption, local sale and drying for later sale to the parastatal company.

Table 8

Operating costs for artisanal purse seine net starting fishing operations from Kigoma, Lake Tanganyika, in 1978
(assuming × fishing days and 2 kg average catch)

Category ofUnit of measurementT.Sh. per unit of measurementTotal cost
Total cost
Total cost
Operating costs     
kerosene100 tins  558 800 8 800
 diesel    6 drums5003 000 3 000
 mantles235       2.33 5403 540
 glasses  50  50
 net repairs  3 850 3 850
 engine repairs  5 500 5 500
 boat repairs  5 500 5 500
 fish box repairs  2 000 2 000
 crew wages15 crew, 285 days value of boat only 184 575 94 700   94 700   
 insurance  2%5 420  5 420 
 shore-based management  13 200  13 200 
Sub-total  145 510    18 620126 890    
Capital costs     
 depreciation  46 650  46 650 
 interest  26 44026 440 
Sub-total  73 09073 090 
Total cost  218 600   91 710126 890 

Table 9

Costs and earnings of an artisanal purse seine unit operating from a Ujumaa Village, Kigoma

Sales revenue 337 592
 Operating costs  
  supplies28 190 
  crew94 700 
  insurance  5 420 
  shore-based management13 200 
   141 510   
 Capital costs  
  depreciation46 650 
  interest paid on loans26 440 
   73 090 
 Total costs 218 600
 Revenue after total costs116 992

The boat-side prices of fish negotiated with the parastatal company are not expected to be lower than those obtained during 1976/77. There is a shortage of fish in Tanzania; present price trends indicate that higher boat-side prices for fish in Kigoma could be obtain if an efficient marketing operation throughout Tanzania was established.

The year's catch of almost 200 tons was achieved by a Tanzanian masterfisherman who previously had neither operated light fishing or purse seining, nor had any experience of Lake Tanganyika. The operation of ring net units by Ujumaa fishing villages would be by fishermen with local knowledge of fish location and movements as well as the weather conditio After the initial period of training, there should be no difficulty in the unit achieving a higher catch rate per night than that obtained by the MFV TUMAINI.

The composition of the catch over the years is expected to change as 1976/77 is said, by the biologists, to be a peak year for migebuka abundance. As the size of the migebuka stocks recedes, the catches of dagaa should increase considerably and more than replace the migebuka in terms of weight and equal it in terms of catch value.

From the above it will be seen that 235 fishing nights per year with a catch of 850 kg per night is a conservative estimate and should be achieved within a few months of initial operation of the unit.

9.6 Profitability

The estimated costs and earnings of an artisanal purse seine net unit operating from Kigoma are shown in Table 9.

Although adequate provision is made for inflationary capital and operating costs (15% and 10% respectively) and as the potential catch and price of fish is considered higher than that shown, a cash balance per year of T.Sh. 163 622 (116 992 + 46 650) is estimated. This profitability is so positive (equivalent to an accounting rate of return of 48%) that a loan for the capital cost could be repaid within two years, before any interest charges become payable.


10.1 Problems of introducing an artisanal purse seine unit into a Ujumaa Village in Kigoma harbour

The previous chapter shows that a Ujumaa Village could operate, from Kigoma harbour, an artisanal purse seine net unit with very good profitability. No consideration has been given to the wishes of the Ujumaa members or Government policy in making this appraisal.

The existing Ujumaa fishing village in Kigoma harbour (Kibrizi) is considered to be one of the more efficient Ujumaas in Kigoma Region. They are presently investing in different units for light fishing with the assistance of TRDB loans; they would not necessarily wish to commit themselves to further investment involving further loans from TRDB at this stage. Government may also feel reluctant to concentrate TRDB loans for Ujumaa Villages in the area of Kigoma town.

The operation of fishing units from Ujumaa Villages will create many problems such as organization, management, training, crew incentives and marketing. Policy decisions would have to be made on these and other matters in negotiations between the Ujumaa and the TRDB.

In the initial years the Ujumaas may have to employ non-Ujumaa members as managers, masterfishermen and mechanics, whilst their own members are trained.

10.2 Marketing consideration at Kigoma

Government plans that an additional ten commercial ring net units will be fishing from Kigoma in the next few years. The success of this operation is dependent on the establishment of a competent marketing organization. It has been decided that a parastatal company will operate the existing Fish Receiving Station. The company are expected to expand the facilities according to the inputs of fish landed.

Each of the new commercial units should catch up to four times that of an artisanal unit; therefore, ultimately, the catch from one artisanal unit might only comprise 1.75% of the total catch.12 The development of one artisanal unit alongside the commercial units should therefore not unduly affect either investment from market considerations; on the other hand it may provide competition and comparison of efficiency between the two scales of operation.

10.3 Future size of an artisanal fleet based at Kigoma

If a concept of parallel development of artisanal and commercial units operating from Kigoma harbour (extra to the one artisanal unit) were feasible within Government policy, further studies would have to be made before the eventual size of the artisanal or commercial fleet operating from this same harbour could be determined. Information for such a study would become available during the first few years of the operation of the first Ujumaa unit alongside the commercial fleet.

10.4 Possibility of introducing similar units in other Ujumaa Villages on Lake Tanganyika

The fishing methods presently employed along the length of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzanian sector) only require small boats. Those which are employed are easily beached in the event of bad weather. Artisanal purse seine net units cannot be beached for protection in the same manner, so they have to rely on sheltered anchorages.

Kelly(1973) and Andrianos (1976) have shown where suitable harbours and anchorages could be developed. Andrianos has also classified areas into quality domains and has given characteristics of present landing facilities and fish market (demand).

It is unlikely that any of these locations would absorb the landings from one ring net unit on a regular basis without additional investments in fish processing and transport facilities. The operation of units outside Kigoma may also cause problems such as maintenance and repair of engines and boats, as well as unforeseen problems which may include social changes caused by regular fishing throughout the year.

12       %
Existing Commercial Units  4  
New Commercial Units10     
 14 × 456  98.25
1 Artisanal Unit   1    1.75


Andrianos, E.D. 1976 Commercial Purse Seining on Lake Tanganyika FI:DP/URT/70/012/30

Andrianos, E.D. 1977 Efficient Fishing Techniques for the Small Scale Fisheries of Lake Tanganyika FI:DP/URT/71/012/52

Bazigos, G.P. 1975 Catch Assessment Survey March 74/February 75 FI:DP/URT/71/012/25

Engstrom, J.E. 1974 Preparation of Fishery Investment Projects IPFC/74/SYM/26

Kelly, L:C 1973 Development of Fish Landing Facilities and Boatyards FI:DP/URT/71/012/2

Campleman, G. 1976 Manual on the Identification and Preparation of Fishery Investment Projects FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 149

Chapman, D.W. 1975 Summary of Several Pelagic Ichthyomass Assessment with Acoustics in Lake Tanganyika FI:DP/URT/71/012/21

Chapman, D.W. 1976 Summary of Biological Research on Lake Tanganyika from July 73 to September 76 FI:DP/URT/71/012/46

Saridharan, V.K. 1976 Analysis of the Results of the Catch Assessment Survey at Lake Tanganyika April 73 to March 76 FI:DP/URT/71/012/41

Smart, J.K. Marketing Aspects of Commercial Purse Seine Fishing in Lake Tanganyika FI:DP/URT/71/012/19

Smart, J.K. Msuku, B 1977 Survey of Consumption of Fish and Fish Products in Villages of Kigoma District FI:DP/URT/71/012/49

Appendix 1


Steel25 000Wood20 000
Steering system  2 000Steering system  2 000
Engine45 000Engine45 000
Electric supply  5 800Electric supply  5 800
Anchors  2 700Anchors  2 700
Purse davit     700Purse davit     700
Welding materials  4 800Gaulking  1 000
Painting  2 500Painting  2 500
Labour 119 800Labour 125 000
Safety equipment  5 800Safety equipment  5 900
Contingency  5 900Contingency  5 900
 120 000   120 000  
= US$ 14 440         = US$ 14 007         

1 Labour costed at EAR(M) shipyard costs of T.Shs. 7/20 per hour

Appendix 2


Lamp boats 3

The MFV FRANCE has five lamp boats. 1 The boats are of steel construction with the following dimensions:

Length:5.35 m
Breadth:1.80 m
Depth:0.65 m

Each boat carries two lamps of 2000 candlepower, type PETROMAX 2. The average consumption of kerosene per lamp is 5 litres for a period of 10–11 hours.

Each lamp boat has 3 cars. It carries an anchor of 5 kgs. with a rope of about 150 m. (8 mm.) which is used to reduce the drifting of the boat (see also Chapter 3).

The crew of the lamp boat consists of a fisherman who is responsible for the good usage of the lamps during the fishing operations. The daily payment of the fisherman is about 10% more than the official wage rate.

A : 3 oars
B : 5 kg anchor
C : Hatch
D : Tank with fuel and air
E : 2 lamps of 2000 candle power
F : 15–20 m rope (nylon) for towing the boat
G : Bit
H : Towing ring

1 The number of lamp boats of a purse seiner on Lake Tanganyika ranges from 4 to 6
2 Producer: H.N. Kiropoulos, 56 Filpnas Str., Piraeus, Greece. Tel. 44399
3 Used in artisanal unit as ancillary boat

Appendix 3


June (12 days)     
 Lumbo1 169      14.072 465      12.432.11
 Bagaa385      4.63550      2.731.43
 Migebuka6 300      75.8215 260      76.972.42
 Lates455      5.431 550      7.823.41
 Total8 309      100.0019 825      100.002.39
July (22 days)     
 Lumbo1 395.6   3.731 890      3.701.35
 Dagaa1 026.5   2.74985.5   1.930.96
 Migebuka33 432      89.3645 593.5   89.271.36
 Lates1 561      4.172 607.5   5.101.67
 Total37 415.1   100.0051 081.5   100.001.37
August (22 days)     
 Lumbo1 335      4.631 577.5   3.931.18
 Dagaa290      1.02379      0.951.30
 Migebuka26 573      93.2237 460      93.411.41
 Lates306      1.08686      1.712.24
 Total28 504      100.0040 102.5   100.001.41
September (15 days)     
 Lumbo742.5   10.91891      7.071.20
 Dagaa495      7.27413.503.280.84
 Migebuka4 005      58.857 657.5060.791.91
 Lates1 563      22.973 637      28.862.33
 Total6 805.5   100.0012 599      100.001.35
October (17 days)     
 Lumbo3 600      43.488 605      56.332.39
 Dagaa2 992.5   36.133 229      21.141.08
 Migebuka139.5   1.68440      2.883.15
 Lates342      4.131 161      7.603.39
 Juv. migebuka1 207.5014.581 841      12.051.52
 Total8 281.50100.0015 276      100.001.84
November (23 days)     
 Lumbo2 616      17.469 085      33.783.47
 Dagaa11 637.5   77.6715 640      58.151.34
 Migebuka272      1.821 073      3.983.94
 Lates117      0.78409      1.523.50
 Juv. migebuka340      2.27690      2.572.03
 Total14 982.50100.0026 897      100.001.80
December (23 days)     
 Lumbo3 139.5   16.826 280.5   25.952.00
 Dagaa14 870      79.6515 585.0   64.391.05
 Migebuka113      0.61486.0   2.014.30
 Lates545      2.921 854.0   7.653.40
 Total18 668.50100.0024 205.5   100.001.30
January (6 days)     
 Lumbo120      4.13470      4.883.92
 Dagaa510      17.54425      5.600.83
 Migebuka2 205      75.856 585      86.822.99
 Lates72      2.48205.5   2.702.85
 Total2 907      100.007 685.50 100.002.61
February (21 days)     
 Lumbo300      2.26575      2.861.92
 Dagaa4 680      35.2   5 420      26.901.16
 Migebuka8 040      60.5013 180      65.421.64
 Lates270      2.03971      4.823.60
  13 290      100.0020 146      100.001.52
March (15 days)     
 Lumbo2 820      29.315 620      19.101.99
 Dagaa60      0.6265      0.221.08
 Migebuka6 085      63.2421 690      73.743.56
 Lates657      6.832 014      6.943.11
 Total9 622      100.0029 416      100.003.06
April (18 days)     
 Lumbo1 320      10.092 540      9.162.00
 Dagaa240      1.83275      0.951.15
 Migebuka11 400      87.1425 525      88.572.24
 Lates123      0.94380      1.323.09
 Total13 083      100.0028 820      100.002.20
May (24 days)     
 Lumbo60      .27100      .271.67
 Dagaa360      1.60475      1.291.32
 Migebuka21 885      97.4435 812.5   97.031.64
 Lates156      .69520      1.413.33
 Total22 461      100.0036 907.5   100.001.64
June (17 days) 1     
 Lumbo1 465      10.103 164      12.842.16
 Dagaa2 955      20.373 419      13.881.16
 Migebuka9 479      63.3516 588      67.351.75
 Lates485      3.351 261      5.722.60
 Juv. migebuka9 479      .8316 588      .811.63
 Total14 506      100.0024 631      100.001.70
 Total (13 moon periods)= Kg 198 835T.Sh. 337.592Price/kg 1.70
      Kg 198 835US$    40 625Price/kg 0.20 US$
 Average landing per day   Kg 846T.Sh. 1 436 

1 Estimates only based on average catches and prices for previous 12 moon periods to complete 12 calendar months' landing data

Appendix 4


Lumbo over 10%   XXXXX  XX 
Dagaa over 20%    XXX    X   
Migebuka over 60%XXX1   XXXXX
Lates over 5%X  X     X  

1 5.85%


The importance of boat improvement was stressed especially in the Sahel region where forest conservation warrants utilization of alternative materials, such as GRP (glass reinforced plastic). The relatively high cost of this material in spite of its superior strength and durability, requires an accurate study of investment costs. Another possibility consists in the construction of planked boats in a rational way for ease of building and maintenance. Wood could be imported from producing African countries.

The loss in value and weight of fishery products due to insect infestation appears especially serious, in particular in the Sahel region. New preservation methods are being experimented, e.g., in Ghana by improved smoking and storage, and Malawi (Opération Pêche) by dipping the products in a solution of a biodegradable pesticide harmless for man (Gardona). In Burundi, very encouraging results have been obtained, in the case of Ndagala, by salting, sun-drying, smoking and packing in plastic bags.

The exploitation of juvenile fish, mentioned in connexion with the description of the atalla traditional fishery (Nigeria), does not appear really dangerous for stocks, as it has been practised for a very long time without any noticeable effect on the abundance of adult fish. Fisheries of this kind could nevertheless constitute the subject of research aiming at a better knowledge of their impact on the resources.

Fishing for juveniles can also be valuable as a cheap source of fingerlings subsequently to be raised in ponds, particularly where juvenile stocks are under heavy pressure from predators. This possibility was brought to the attention of the Working Group on Aquaculture.

As regards the introduction of new fishing techniques involving the construction of larger and modern boats for artisanal fisheries, stress was laid on the importance of techno-economic studies on the profitability of prototypes, such as those carried out in Burundi and Tanzania on the artisanal purse-seining units introduced on Lake Tanganyika. The optimal size of such boats should be determined with due regard to the financial capacities of fishermen.

As in the case of boats, experimentation on new fishing gear should always be supplemented by comparative studies on the productivity/cost ratio of modern and traditional gear.

Training of cadres and extension personnel is particularly important, especially in Sahelian countries. The representatives of the countries concerned strongly emphasized the urgency of setting up training facilities both for higher-level personnel and for medium-level cadres and extension workers, as envisaged in the regional project for Sahel.

As regards the Sudd fishery, the representative of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan requested FAO's assistance in preparing a project document for the development of fishing methods appropriate to the particular conditions of this still largely under-exploited area.

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