Mozambique: Illegal shark fishing represents loss of US$1 million to Mozambican state

13 May 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 13 May – Mozambique is losing US$1 million due to illegal shark fishing, specifically for cutting off the sharks’ fins by foreign fishermen, particularly from Tanzania, said the marine administrator of Nacala province, Daniel Sitoe.

The administrator noted that the illegal fishermen operate along the coast of the districts of Nacala and Memba, in Nampula province, at a time when the local marine administration has few means of transport, specifically all terrain vehicles and vessels equipped with motors to carry out the necessary inspections.

Shark fin is currently priced at around uS$750 per kilogramme on the international market.

Sitoe also said that shark fishing was carried out using cruel and destructive methods as the sharks are caught and after their fins are cut off on board they are thrown back into the sea to die.

According to Sitoe the illegal foreign fishermen also catch sea cucumbers from the bottom of the sea to sell in neighbouring Tanzania.

Parts fo sharks often wash up on the coasts of Membe and Nacala and confirms the illegal fishing by non-licensed fishermen, according to Sitoe.

The end of activities of the marine biodiversity project that covered the districts of Nacala, Mossuril, Memba and Mozambique Island, which included some activities to inspect the coast involving a unit from the Navy has left marine resources in that region of Nampula unprotected. (macauhub)