Mozambique annually loses the equivalent of US$57 million due to illegal fishing and other harmful practices, in the absence of effective maritime surveillance along nearly 2,800 kilometres of coastline, said the director of Operations of the Ministry of the Sea, Interior Waters and Fisheries.
Leonid Chimarizene also told weekly newspaper Domingo that Mozambique differs from most coastal countries because it allows ships to moor at any port, “which means that we must have inspectors all along the coast.”
Saying that this is one of the challenges in combating illegal fishing, Chimarizene said the Ministry was working on overcoming this problem through the Fisheries Community Councils, which include properly organised fishing associations.
For example, he said, the Community Council for Fisheries for the Costa do Sol area, in the city of Maputo, self-monitors all fishermen in the area and may report anyone who tries to fish illegally.
Chimarizene also said pleasure boats that flock to the coast, mainly from South Africa were a problem, along with other pleasure craft, with long ranges, sailing to prohibited areas, where they hunt and fish protected species among other activities.
This week’s edition of Domingo reported that these boats also carry stowaways, illegal materials, violators of navigation laws and protection against pollution, do not respect customs regulations and do not comply with the periodic inspections, among other problems.
Another scenario that adds to the loss is that poachers use non-recommended methods and in some cases, the fishing gear is dropped overboard out at sea, which is quite common in artisanal fishing. (macauhub)