Mozambican government studies mechanisms to prevent illegal fishing

19 November 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 Nov – The Mozambican government is seeking out ways of improving control and inspection of illegal fishing, an activity which leads to losses for the State of around US$35 million per year, the Mozambican deputy Fisheries Minister said in Maputo.

“Illegal fishing is a challenge that we have to deal with because it affects the country and the whole world and in Mozambique we are improving inspection schemes together with several national and international bodies,” said Gabriel Muthisse.

Cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias, the deputy minister said that the government was organising an inter-ministerial commission for inspection of illegal fishing which will design schemes for Mozambican waters to be patrolled, thus preventing them from being invaded by fishing vessels from other countries.

Currently, maritime inspection is carried out by a vessel that is leased by the government and two inflatable vessels, as well as a team of fishing inspectors across the country.

The fisheries sector has a strategic role to play in food and nutritional security, collecting foreign currency and generating employment in Mozambique, where production totals around 150,000 tons of fish per year.

Fishing is ranked fifth on Mozambique’s export list and accounts for 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around US$75 million of the balance of trade. (macauhub)