Maputo — Mozambique's exports of fisheries produce suffered a significant decline in the first nine months of this year, according to statistics from the Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, published by the Maputo daily "Noticias".
Between January and September 10,100 tonnes of fisheries produce was exported, which was a decline of 16 per cent in comparison with the same period in 2018, and only 68 per cent of the target set for the first nine months.
These exports earned the country 46.2 million US dollars - which is only 54 per cent of the target figure of 85.5 million dollars, and a decline of 23 per cent on the sum earned in the January-September 2018 period.
The main declines were in the prawn fisheries. There were significantly reduced catches of both surface water and deep water prawns - a sure sign that these resources have been overfished. The catch of cephalopods (such as squid and octopus) also declined.
Exports of kapenta (Lake Tanganyika sardine) also fell, but the Ministry said this was due to reduced demand in the traditional markets. Kapenta is fished on Cahora Bassa lake, in Tete province, and is normally exported to neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia.
There were increases in the catches of salt water fish, and of crayfish, but this did not compensate for the decline in the other fisheries.