The Quelimane fishing port and dry dock in Zambézia will be put under private management in order to make the most of infrastructural support for industrial fishing on the so-called Sofala Bank.
Built in the 90s, when industrial fishing was on the rise, the two facilities in Rio dos Bons Sinais went through difficult times because of management problems and the transfer of the corporate headquarters of the large fishing companies operating in Zambézia to Beira.
The Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maíta, visiting Zambézia province to monitor the first 100 days of governance activities of her ministry, said in Quelimane that public tenders for this contract had already been launched and that the selection of the best technical and financial proposal was now pending.
Maíta said the government was concerned at the interruption of activities [at the ports], and that restarting them could relaunch the local economy and provide opportunities for new business and job creation.
The two facilities were built in a cooperation between Mozambique and Japan. While it was operational, the Quelimane dry dock [doca seca] undertook the maintenance and repair of many Mozambique vessels, and even of some operating in South African waters, but ran into management problems and finally stopped working completely, leaving more than 50 workers redundant.
The floating Quelimane fishing port was used to refuel vessels and reinforce logistics. Its closure left another 40 workers unemployed, all of them with unpaid wages.
Maíta said that the new approach to redeploying the facilities was a great opportunity for the private sector, because they are both still up to date, and that investment would enable the private sector to provide quality services, which would attract maintenance and repair work back to Quelimane.
Minister Maíta also visited the town of Zalala, where a large number of fishermen and fisherwomen live. Meeting them, Maíta asked that the closed season periods [veda] be respected in order to allow species to reproduce, and advised against the use of inappropriate or harmful fishing gear.
The fishermen said they were aware and responsible, but asked the government to reduce the closed season from four months to three. Mussa Chabane, a fisherman who spoke at the meeting, said that four months was too long, since those who live on the coast basically survived by fishing.
Source: Notícias via Club of Mozambique