Mozambican exports of shrimp and fish increased by US$6 million in 2005

3 April 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 03 April – Mozambican exports of shrimp and fish in 2005 totaled US$96 million, US$6 million more than in the previous year, according to official figures to which Macauhub had access Monday.

This increase of 6.7 percent was driven by industrial shrimp fishing, which is carried out, mainly, on the Sofala bank, in central Mozambique.

The increased amount of shrimp that was exported made up for a serious fall on fish exports, particularly of capenta, a fish from the Cahora Bassa reservoir, in the province of Tete, and whose fishing has been an important business since 1994.

“It is still too early to talk about this year and we have to take into account the natural phenomena but we are optimistic,” The deputy minister of fishing for Mozambique, Victor Borges, told Macauhub.

In relation to industrial shrimp fishing, Mozambique and the European Union signed an agreement, which is valid until 2007, under the terms of which Portuguese ships may fish up to 1,000 tons per year.

In exchange, Mozambique will receive an annual fund of 4 million euros for use in inspection, scientific research, and training amongst other things.

“We want to improve fishing techniques, techniques for preserving fish after they have been caught and if we manage to do this we will be making an important contribution to Mozambique’s economy and to reducing absolute poverty,” Borges said about the training plan.

The project will involve fishermen using traditional techniques in the coastal area of central and northern Mozambique, covering the provinces of Sofala, Quelimane, Nampula and Cabo Delgado, and is budgeted at US$54 million.

The government has encouraged fishing communities to set up community fishing councils not only to deal with problems that are specific to the sector, but also to take an active role in managing fishing resources, Borges said.

Set up just six months ago, the community fishing council of Nhangau, near the city of Beira, said last week its 1,300 traditional fishermen had caught 434 tons of fish.

“We are currently looking for partners to finance similar projects for the provinces of Inhambane and Maputo, in order to cover the entire coast,” Borges added. (macauhub)