Maputo, 2 Apr (AIM) – Illegal fishing for prawns and tuna in Mozambican
waters resulted in losses of 67 million US dollars last year, according to
the Ministry of Fisheries.
According to a report in the daily newspaper “Noticias”, illegal fishing is
mainly carried out by foreign boats entering the bays of Maputo and Sofala.
This year the Mozambican government has made the control of illegal fishing
one of its priorities. The authorities plan to carry out at least 297
inspections in the provinces of Maputo, Sofala and Zambezia, as well as 253
patrol missions in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. In parallel, there
will be 150 hours of surveillance flights over the Sofala bank and the
Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Minister of Fisheries, Victor Borges, announced earlier this year the
intensification of action to control fishing, including the adoption of
policies to promote the sustainable exploitation, protection and
conservation of resources, and the compliance with regulations by licenced
Mozambique spends 70 million meticais (about 2.25 million dollars) each year
in the fight against illegal fishing. However, this is considered to be low
in comparison with the amount spent by other members of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
In an attempt to keep down costs Mozambique has been promoting joint patrols
with neighbouring South Africa, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
The illegality can take the form of fishing without a licence or violating
quotas. Not only does this result in financial losses for the state, but can
result in overfishing leading to ecological threats.