Last Updated 11 Apr 2021

Contribution of Fishing Industry Towards Poverty Reduction in Zanzibar

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Table of contents


This chapter covers the contextual background of the problem stating clearly how the problem come about/historical development and what is being done so far on literature review , stating clearly the statement of the problem, general and specific research objectives, general and specific research questions.

Background Information to the problem

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Zanzibar’s fishing is almost entirely artisanal and is conducted in the shallow waters along the coast. The entire fishing grounds are about 4,000 square kilometers for Unguja and 2,720 square kilometers for Pemba.

Much of this area has coral reefs and a variety of flora and fauna making the region ideal for fishing. Indeed, there is an enormous potential for increased production of marine products, through offshore and deep-sea fishing including processing, for both domestic and export markets(ZIP). The Zanzibar Poverty Reduction Plan (ZPRP 2002) stipulates that growth in the agricultural sector is crucial due to its pro-found positive impact on poverty reduction. Based on this back drop, once growth in agriculture is stimulated, most poor people in this sector will benefit culminating into poverty reduction.

The fishing sub-sector has a relatively lower contribution in export compared to other exports such as cloves, manufactured goods and other exports. Statistics show that from 2000 to 2004 exports of fish amounted to USD 0. 53million accounting for 0. 7%of total exports amounting to USD 67. 5 million. (ZPRP 2002) However, the market potential is yet to be sufficiently exploited because of a fish catches , not withstanding the fact that Zanzibar is surrounded by sea. Generally, fishing activities in Zanzibar are concentrated on onshore.

According to the Agricultural Policy (2000), the main reason for shallow sea fishing with low fish yield is lack of capital to purchase larger vessels to engage in deep sea fishing, indicating that fishing is not developed (some of fishermen do not use fishing vessels but use rudimentary tools for catching fish such as spears sticks, knives, small nets and bare hands). Fish stocks include small pelagic, coral reef fish, lobsters, octopus and large pelagic etc The fishing territorial area is made of about 4,000sq. kms for Unguja or 59. 5% and 2,720sq. kms for Pemba accounting for 40. 5% of total.

Statistics for fish catch indicate a fluctuating trend between 1992 and 1997,before attaining a steady increasing path from 1998 towards 2002. However the actual production is still low and does not contribute significantly in Zanzibar fish exports despite high potentiality. Distribution of fish catches by districts reveal that currently urban Unguja district is leading in fish production since 2001, outpacing North district which dominated before. Exports (export earnings) was the highest in 2003 because of the sea products such as sea shells and sea cucumber from the business people. The Zanzibar Poverty Reduction Plan(ZPRP Jan 2002))

Statement of the problem

Zanzibar, having two islands namely Unguja and Pemba located in the Indian ocean have varieties of fish. The islands are accessible by sea, having two ports in Unguja and Pemba making it easier to export fish products, these factor facilities are important for developing fishing industry. According to Tanzania Reproductive and Child Health Survey(1999) about 35. 8% of under five children are stunted of which 12. 2% are severely stunted. For Pemba 46. 25% of under five children are stunted, while for ungula it is 27. 5% . The situation calls for a study to establish how the fishing industry can be improved (e. g. by identifying appropriate technology and reliable markets) to get rid of malnutrition, reduce poverty, increase export proceeds, increase tax revenue and increase employment opportunities.

Significant of the study

The finding of this research will encourage the concerned authorities to perform their duties that is by improving the fishing industry in order to reduce poverty and exercise their professions and responsibilities towards controlling the current problem which is poverty.

Further more the study will collect information from different sources and use the findings to alert the authorities concerned about the fishing industry and how it will contribute towards reduction poverty.

Scope of the study

The study will take about 2 weeks in February and will cover Zanzibar as a case study which will be the inclusion of Unguja as it analyses the contribution of fishing industry towards poverty reduction in Zanzibar.

Objective of the research

General objectives

To estimate the extent of fishing industry on poverty reduction in the study area

Specific objectives

The study will seek to achieve the following: To evaluate the potentiality of fishing in Zanzibar economy To identify problems and opportunities in fishing industry and its marketing in the study area To assess the applicability of fishing industry towards the reduction of poverty in the study area

Hypothesis of the study

The following will be tested in order to assess the validity of both overall and specific objectives. Does the fishing industry leads to the poverty reduction? That is: Null hypothesis (HO): Fisheries improvement is the determinant for poverty reduction.

Alternative Hypothesis (Hi): fisheries improvement is not a determinant of poverty reduction.

Literature Review


This study comprises literature review about the contribution of fishing industry towards the poverty reduction in Zanzibar. These reviews include books, journals, articles and details from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Department. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part deals with Fishing Industry and the second part is a review in Poverty Reduction.

Definition of fishing

From the encyclopedia (Britanica) ; - Fishing involves the recovery of foods and other valuable resources from bodies of water. Fishing involves the extraction of all marine products. - Fishery; is harvesting of as a commercial enterprise or the location or season of commercial fishing.

Background of fishing Industry (FDZ)

Government of Zanzibar’s involvement in fishing activities started many years ago but because of abundant resources, few fishers and primitive gear, fisheries activities were not considered important.

Before 1964 revolution, there was a private fishing corporation under management of the Greeks, which was charged with supervision of all fishing activities in Zanzibar. After the 1964 Revolution, the Government of Zanzibar nationalized the corporation as established it as public enterprise charged with the responsibility of monitoring fishing activities and improving working conditions of the fisher folk. In 1974,the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar formed the Department of Fisheries, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment.

Besides other functions, and key responsibility of the department was directed to supervise and modernize fishery activities. In order to modernize fishing, the department of Fisheries established several centres for coordinating, simplifying and promoting fishing activities.

Fishing in Zanzibar’s economy

Unguja and Pemba are surrounded by rich marine resources, the people of Zanzibar utilize marine products for subsistence and as a source of income, with fish being among the most important resources and socio-economic activities of the people in Zanzibar economy.

Fishing has been conducted in the islands since the dawn of humanity and still continues to be an important coastal activity. Fishing provides employment for men and women and almost all age groups. Fishing activity employs an average of 25% of the population as artisanal fishers and account for an average of 4. 5% of GDP. According to the recent data provided by Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment (Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources - Zanzibar), there has been gradual decrease in the GDP accounted from fishing sector.

In 2004 GDP for fish had increased to 5% and it kept on increasing in 2005 reaching 5. 9% but from there it went on decreasing in the year 2006 reaching 4. 9%. So in my study i will try to look for the reason of decreasing in this fishing industry and try to look at which ways the government suppose to do to improve it and help the people of Zanzibar that is reduce the poverty.

Poverty Reduction

Before getting to the concept of Poverty Reduction, the meaning of Poverty should be understood.

Definition of poverty

According to the World’s encyclopaedia 9:652:3a, Poverty is the condition that is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs which are necessary for survival. According to Gerald M. Meir and James E. Rauch in the book Leading Issues in Economic Development (seventh edition) ; Poverty is concerned with the absolute standard of living of a part of the society. According to Michael Todaro and Stephen Smith in their book Economic Development ; Poverty is the number of people who are unable to command sufficient resources to satisfy basic needs. it’s a total number living below a specified minimum level of real income - an international poverty line.

Most current projections call for the number of persons living in poverty to rise over the current decade but this outcome depends on two factors; - the rate of economic growth - the level of resources devoted to poverty programs and the quality of those programs.

Growth and poverty

Rapid growth is bad for the poor because they would be bypassed by the structural changes of modern growth. I will try to look how the public expenditures required for the reduction of poverty would entail the reduction in the rate of growth.

The poor tend to spend additional income on improved nutrition, education for children, improvements in housing conditions and other expenditures that especially at poverty levels represent investments rather than consumption.

Reasons why policies focused towards reducing poverty levels need not to lead in slower rate of growth:

  • Widespread poverty creates conditions in which the poor have no access to credit, are unable to finance their children’s education and the absence of physical or monetary investment opportunities.
  • The low incomes and the low level of living for the poor which are manifested in poor health, nutrition and education can lower their economic productivity and lead to the slower growing economy.
  • Raising the income levels of the poor will stimulate an overall increase in the demand for locally produced necessity products like food and clothing whereas the rich tend to spend on luxury goods.
  • A reduction of mass poverty can stimulate healthy economic expansion by acting as a powerful material and psychological incentive to widespread public participation in the development process.


The methodology that will be applied in my study has been chosen in order to acquire information and deduce conclusions about the contribution of fishing industry towards poverty reduction and the alternative measures which should be taken in order to make sure that they adapt to this problem.

Area of the Study

The study will be conducted at mkokotoni fishing site in Zanzibar and the Department of fisheries, where fishermen and officers of fisheries were involved.

Targeted Popullation

The targeted populations are officials from the Department of Fisheries and the fishermen.

As it is not easy to deal with each individual in the department and all the fishermen available in Zanzibar, a research used sampling method that is simple random to get actual respondents and in reducing sampling errors. A sample of 10 to 20 fishermen will be drawn from the population.

Purpose of the Study and Type of Investigation

The main purpose of this study Is to obtain an insight into the current contribution of fishing industry towards poverty reduction in Zanzibar. For the above reason, this research will take an exploratory approach.

According Sekaran (2002:123) an exploratory study is undertaken when not much is known about the situation at hand, or when no information is available on how similar problems or research issues have been solved in the past. The aim will be to gain familiarity with the issues, and to gain a deeper understanding about the topic and to come out with the suggestive measures which should be taken to adapt to this problem of fishing industry.

Data Collection

For the purpose of this research, and in order to achieve the objectives data will be collected and will use both primary and secondary data.

The secondary data will contribute toward the formation of background information, needed by both the researcher in order to build constructively the project and the reader to comprehend more thoroughly the survey outcome. Primary data will be collected in two ways. Firstly, a questionnaire survey will be conducted with researcher visiting the area. Secondly, interviews will be also carried out with I will go to the fishermen and asking them about how there work has contributed towards reduction of poverty.

Sampling Design

Ideally I wanted to study the entire population of fishermen.

However, it will be impossible and unfeasible to do this and therefore I must settle for a sample. According to Kothari C. R, sample is a portion of elements taken from a population, which is considered to be representative of the population. In order to collect primary data the questionnaires survey technique will be used. For the purpose of this study I will use both simple random probability sampling and purposive random sampling. Under simple random sampling each of the fisherman found in the area visited will be able to provide with information on how he/she contribute to reduction of poverty.

Also under purposive random sampling I will be responsible of setting some criteria on whom to interview.

Questionnaire Survey

In order to achieve my goal of this study and get relevant information about this problem I will use both closed and open ended questions. Under the closed ended questions I will narrow the field inquiry and will choose among the fixed responses. This will enable me to analyze my data easier since the responses will be easier to compare. Also the open ended questions will enable me to get new ideas and varieties of information about the problem.

The Interview Survey

The technique of personal interviewing is undertaken in order to reach the objectives since it is the most versatile and productive method of communication, enabled spontaneity, and also provided with: “The skill of guiding the discussion back to the topic outlined when discussions are unfruitful though it has the disadvantages of being very costly time consuming and can introduce bias through desires of the respondent to please the interviewer.

Data Analysis

After collecting the data from the field I will use Microsoft excel and Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS).

These methods will enable me to draw a valid conclusion of what I will find in the field in relation to the objectives I have put forward.

Contribution of the Study

As it is the purposes of this study that it helps to investigate the contribution of fishing industry towards poverty reduction. When I complete this research I will add an important value on the academic part. Also the purpose of this study is to enable me understand on how I can conduct research on different cases.

Model of the Study

In my study as the qualitative research there is the need of using a model to est the result of the research, here the multiple regression model will be used for the test of my research. The model of my study will be as follows: Y =? 0 + ? 1X1 + ? 2X2 + ? 3X3 + ? 4X4 + µ Where; Y – stands for Income X1 - stands for education level X2 – stands for technological level X3 – stands for age of the fisherman X4 – stands for financial assistance X5 – stands for family size µ - stands for Error term as Y stands for dependent variable that is it depends on the changes of its explanatory variables. Independent variables can be explained as follows;

Education level- that is if the education level of fisheries is high we expect to have more income and if its low expect low income. Technological level - that is the use of more advanced technology leads to increase in income. Age- as how ages leads to increase in income, that as ages goes up or down leads to increase in income. Financial assistance- that is how the government financially assists this sector as assisted more we expect for more income. Family size - Family size of a respondent was one variable (continuous variable) proposed to influence participation decision.

The more number of family members an individual had the more probable to participate in fishing. This is because he will have a labor source.


  1. Gerald M. Meier,et al, “ Leading issues in Economic Development” “seventh edition”
  2. Humphrey P. B. et al,. Zanzibar: The challenges of globalization and Poverty reduction
  3. Jiddawi N, M. (1997) : Fisheries stock Assessment in the Traditional Fisheries sector.
  4. Kothari C. (2004) “Research Methodology: methods and techniques” New Age international (P) limited, New Delhi.
  5. Michael P. T,et al, “Economic Development” Mkenda, A. 2001 “Fishery Resources and welfare in Rural Zanzibar”
  6. World’s encyclopaedia (Britanica)


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Contribution of Fishing Industry Towards Poverty Reduction in Zanzibar. (2017, Jun 06). Retrieved from

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