Maputo — Mozambique's Minister of Fisheries, Victor Borges, on Thursday laid the first stone for the construction of the new Maputo fish market.
The market will have a hundred fish stalls with refrigerated storage to conserve the produce and a restaurant area.
The project is budgeted at 11.3 million US dollars, of which 8.6 million will be provided by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Maputo Municipal Council will provide 1.4 million dollars, with the remaining funds coming from the Mozambican government.
Speaking during the ceremony, the minister said that artisanal fishing in Mozambique makes up over 85 per cent of the fishing sector, with the rest being composed of aquiculture and industrial fishing. Borges added that the artisanal sub-sector produced 196,000 tonnes of fish last year out of a total production of 220,000 tonnes.
The minister said the quality and safety of the fish will be checked in the laboratory of the National Institute of Fish Inspection (INIP).
Borges stated that the country currently only has one internationally accredited laboratory, situated in Maputo. However, two laboratories, in the central cities of Beira and Quelimane, are in the process of being accredited, with a third laboratory planned for the northern city of Nacala.
Maputo's mayor David Simango pointed out that the fish market is the capital city's third major public construction project currently underway. Work is already taking place on the Maputo Ring Road and the capital's coastal defences.