Mozambique: Huge Losses From Illegal Fishing

Maputo — The Mozambican state is suffering annual loses of revenue of over a billion meticais (over 30 million US dollars) due to illegal fishing, according to the National Director of Fisheries Inspection, Manuel Castiano, cited in Monday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.

Speaking to reporters during a national meeting on fisheries inspection, held in the central city of Quelimane, Castiano said that an estimated 2,000 tonnes of fisheries produce is taken from Mozambican waters every year by vessels fishing illegally.

“Illegal fishing is not just an economic concern, but also a social one”, said Castiano, “since more than 100,000 Mozambicans depend directly on fishing for their livelihood, and a further 530,000 depend indirectly”.

Illegal fishing is preventing the fisheries sector from increasing its contribution to Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product, he added. Currently fisheries only contribute three per cent to GDP.

Inter-sector cooperation, including with the defence and security forces, and strengthening the human and material resources devoted to fighting illegal fishing, were the way forward to bring the situation under control, said Castiano.

Mozambique is far from the only African country in this situation. Africa as a whole is estimated to be losing 785 million euros (slightly more than a billion US dollars) every year to illegal fishing.

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