Biosecurity policy and legislation of the seaweed aquaculture industry in Tanzania

Sadock B. Rusekwa, Iona Campbell, Flower E. Msuya, Amelia S. Buriyo, Elizabeth J. Cottier-cook

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Abstract

Pest and disease outbreaks have significant impacts on the livelihoods of seaweed farmers each year, particularly in low- to middle-income countries around the world. Commercial seaweed farming of the red carrageenophytes, Eucheuma denticulatum, Kappaphycus alvarezii and Kappaphycus striatus, in Tanzania was established in 1989. The impacts of pests and diseases on the local seaweed industry had serious implications for the environment, society, local culture and human health. The industry was initially characterised by growth, but since 2002 has been severely limited due to pest and disease outbreaks, exacerbated by the effects of climate change. This paper identifies existing biosecurity frameworks in Tanzanian legislation and policies in order to assess their content regarding the management of pests and diseases in the seaweed industry. A total of thirteen frameworks were identified and analysed for their general biosecurity scope and inclusion of specific risks. Of the thirteen, only four were legally binding, and only four were identified to be applicable to the seaweed industry. National frameworks were predominantly designed to support finfish aquaculture; therefore, national authorities lack the expertise, experience and scientific basis on biosecurity issues in seaweed industry compared with other aquatic commercial commodities to identify and mitigate the risks from pest and disease outbreaks in the seaweed farming industry. Recommendations are provided to assist regulators in establishing biosecurity policies, which either explicitly include or are specifically designed, to support the Tanzanian seaweed industry. This analysis reveals where biosecurity capacity can be developed to support a sustainable and economically productive national seaweed farming industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Biosecurity
  • Diseases
  • Pests
  • Policy
  • Tanzania

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