Mozambique’s Minister of the Sea, Interior Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, says the country is expecting to harvest 461,000 tons of fish in 2020.
She said 441,000 tons of the fish are destined for domestic consumption.
Addressing the challenges facing the sector in the present five-year mandate and the degree of implementation of Covid-19 prevention measures, Minister Maita said: “At this moment, statistics indicate that about 90% of global production comes from artisanal fishing, which raises the need for us to look more closely into this sector.”
“Of course, we are aware that, as a country with a 2,700 kilometre coast line, it is not easy to manage a sector like this. For that reason, the government has been adopting a series of measures,” she added.
Augusta Maita noted that artisanal fishing involves more than 400,000 people, including fishermen and those working in related activities.
The minister, however, added that Mozambique’s fisheries sector loses about $60m (£46m) annually due to illegal fishing.
It says the situation results from clandestine operations that are being carried out mostly by foreign vessels.
Maíta said most of the boats that have been seized for carrying out illegal fishing were registered in countries such as Panama, Seychelles and Russia.
Ms Maita said a satellite unit to monitor fishing activity in southern Africa will start operating next year, which should reduce illegal fishing.
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