Maputo — Mozambique’s fisheries exports fell by 56 per cent in 2020 when compared with the previous year, as a result of a decline of catches by the industrial and semi-industrial fleets.
Speaking on Monday in Maputo at the opening session of a meeting on the prospects for fisheries in 2021, the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, expressed her concern with the trend, over the last 20 years, for a decline in the contribution made by fisheries to the trade balance.
“The issue must deserve our special attention, through the adoption of concrete actions to reverse this scenario,” Maita said, pointing out that the fishing campaign for 2021, opening officially on April 1 is already faced with the recent impacts of the tropical cyclones Chalane and Eloise that hit the Mozambican coast, damaging fishing boats and infrastructure and aquaculture production units.
As the 2021 campaign has to be undertaken in full accordance with the country’s legislation, Maita reminded the participants that the Maritime Fishing Regulations (REPMAR), passed in 2020, are now in force and represent a landmark in the country’s efforts to implement measures intended to manage, protect and ensure sustainable use of its fishery resources.
Despite the setback recorded last year by the sector, she said however that the fisheries recorded a recovery at the third quarter of 2020, translated into a positive performance and consequently a 1.6 per cent growth rate.
Maita also expressed the government’s concern over the recent mass death of over 100 dolphins in Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (PNAB), in the southern province of Inhambane.
“Although the reasons are yet to be identified, such events pose a great concern as the creatures play a role in ecological balance,” she said.