Mozambique: Shrimp fishing season to be reduced

17 December 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 17 Dec – The period in which shrimp may not be fished in Mozambique is to be expanded as of next year, from three and a half months to five or six months, according to a report in Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

The paper added that this measure, which follows others taken by the government in concordance with the sector’s ship owners, aims to ensure the sustainability of shrimp fishing.

In an interview with the paper, the Fisheries minister, Cadmiel Muthemba, said that this year nothing could be done as the season had begun in November, as usual.

“But it has already been agreed that we can begin the non-fishing period in October and end in February. There are even those who suggest that we can stretch to six months, but we’ll see how the season goes as of March. In June or July we will have a clear idea of what we can do,” Muthemba said.

Since national independence in 1975, shrimp has been considered a strategic product for Mozambique due to its commercial value on the international market and weighting in the country’s export list.

However, a fall in price due to farmed shrimp entering the market, along with low productivity rates each year, have led the product to lose its status in the Mozambican economy.

These factors are added to climate changes that have negatively influenced reproduction of the species as well as constant rises in fuel prices needed for the shrimp boats to go to sea. (macauhub)