Maputo — The new Beira fishing port, inaugurated in October 2019, will receive as from this month large tonnage ships that can discharge fresh fisheries produce from other countries, reports Monday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".
The director of the fishing port, Antonio Remedio, told the paper that it can conserve fisheries produce for a year. He said that currently a 107 metre long fishing vessel is unloading 700 tonnes of horse mackerel from Namibia. (This species, known as "carapau" in Mozambique, is a key source of protein in Mozambican cities).
"This is the first time we have received ships of this size, carrying fresh produce", said Remedio. "This justifies the investment made by the government in rebuilding Beira fishing port".
He said the port has cold stores that can keep fisheries produce at minus 25 degrees centigrade for a year. For tuna, the storage temperature is minus 60 degrees. Conditions are thus being established to avoid losses of produce after unloading.
The investment in the fishing port also included the acquisition of cranes and forklift trucks to facilitate unloading.
During the period when the fishing port was closed, all imported fresh produce was unloaded at the Beira commercial port, which imposed high costs on the owners.
The shipowners told "O Pais" that the new fishing port has brought them economic advantages. "We have excellent, modern cold storage facilities", sad one of them, Martins Mario, "and this is advantageous for us because of the better quality of the product". He also praised the hygiene conditions in the port.
The original Beira fishing port was built in the colonial era, and decayed over time until it was completely destroyed by cyclone Eline in 2000.
In rebuilding the fishing port, the authorities extended the quay from 188 to 377 metres, allowing 16 industrial fishing vessels to dock simultaneously. The previous limit had been eight.
The reconstruction cost 120 million US dollars, provided as a loan from the Chinese government.