Mozambique is expected to catch more than 461,000 tonnes of fish in the current fishing, which compares with 410,000 tonnes in the previous campaign, and estimates point to the biggest contribution coming from artisanal fishing, the minister of the sea, inland waters and fisheries said in Maputo.
Augusta Maíta, officially launching the 2020 fishing year at a ceremony held in the capital of the country, said that the prospects for this year are encouraging in terms of catches, but recalled that this year is truly atypical due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
“Many countries, including our neighbours, are beginning to take drastic measures to prevent the spread of this disease, such as, for example, the closure of business, but we are left with no alternative but to increase domestic production,” she said, quoted by daily newspaper Notícias.
The opening of the fishing year coincided with the end of the stoppage decreed four months ago, and the minister corrected the idea that this is a punishment or a mechanism of the government to prevent the activity from being conducted throughout the year.
“In fact, the stoppage is a management measure that is required so we can continue to fish today, tomorrow and forever,” Maíta noted.
During the stoppage period 11.1 tonnes of shrimp, 3.5 tonnes of crab and 42.6 tonnes of various fish were seized due to non-compliance, and 113 fines were issued to a total value of slightly over 4 million meticais.
The inspection operation involved the Coastal and Waterway Police and the Police for Protection of Natural Resources and Environment and visited 235 fishing centres, having inspected 4,438 boats and 4,817 sets of fishing equipment, in addition to having seized and destroyed 949 sets of fishing gear.