Mozambican tuna company Ematum due to start fishing this year

7 July 2014

Mozambican tuna fishing company Empresa Moçambicana de Atum (Ematum) is expected to start fishing before the end of this year following the arrival in Mozambique, due in September, of the first five fishing vessels ordered in France, said Mozambique’s Fishing Minister, Victor Borges.

The minister also said that  the company, which is 67 percent-owned by the Mozambican state and 33 percent owned by private investors, would only be fully operational in 2015 with the expected arrival of another 16 fishing vessels, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

Borges who was speaking recently in Maputo gave no details about the company’s operations, explaining that this was sensitive business information and that publicising it could affect the company’s competitiveness.

He did say, however, that in total the first five fishing vessels were expected to catch 1,500 tons of tuna per year.

Ematum’s creation caused some controversy as some donor countries questioned the counter-guarantee given by the Mozambican state for a loan of US$850 million to order the fishing vessels from a shipyard in northern France.

The counter-guarantee caught the so-called Group of 19 by surprise as it was never mentioned by the Mozambican government, was so large and was a flagrant violation of the State Budget for 2013.

Tuna fishing in Mozambique is currently carried out by over 100 fishing vessels, almost all of which are foreign, notably from Japan and Europe, and there is just one Mozambican tuna boat.

As part of efforts to ensure that tuna fishing is carried out mainly by Mozambican operators, the Fishing Minister said that negotiations were underway with Japan to register some fishing boats in Mozambique. (macauhub/MZ)