Dar es Salaam, June 2015. In an effort to find a lasting and effective solution to the escalating cases of environmental and wildlife crime taking place in Tanzania the Honourable Minister for Home Affairs, Mathias Meinrad Chikawe, has launched a Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT). Aimed at coordinating efforts and resources, the Task Team will be led by the Tanzania Police Force and encompass Tanzania Forest Services, the Wildlife Division, Fisheries Division, Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services as well as seeking engagement with the criminal justice system. Minister Chikawe stated that the aim of the MATT will be to ‘target the individuals and networks that control this illegal trade, bring them to justice and seize any assets obtained through their crimes.’ Per Erik Bergh, Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) Coordinator, speaking at the launch of this initiative commented that ‘SIF has been involved in raising awareness that the illegal fishing activities taking place in Tanzania are not opportunistic crimes, but form part of a much wider network of transnational organized crimes. We welcome the cross agency approach being adopted in Tanzania and look forward to being an active partner in addressing the destructive, illegal and criminal activities that take place in the fisheries sector.’ SIF and FISH-i Africa has engaged in investigating cases of illegal fishing in Tanzania that are believed to link to larger networks of illegal operators and other crime associated with the fishing industry. The positive cooperation with a range of agencies has yielded some positive results. The establishment of MATT will assist greatly in furthering the practical cooperation to stop environmental crime. The initiative is supported by the Indian Ocean Commission’s (IOC) SmartFish Project implemented jointly with the FAO and funded by the European Union. The IOC has focused particularly on the damage and risk of dynamite fishing and Marcel Kroese, Key MCS Expert, IOC-SmartFish Project, commented that investigations have shown that ‘the problem of blast fishing is far more complex than previously expected in Tanzania. The practice is outlawed in all countries in the world due to the damage it causes to marine and lake environments.’