Friday, April 10, 2015


The prawn catch in Mozambican waters in 2014 was less than half the target set by the Ministry of Fisheries.According to Claudio Tomas, spokesperson of the National Fisheries Administration (ADNAP), the 2014 prawn catch was 3,500 tonnes. Although this is more than was caught in 2013, it is well below the Ministry’s target of 8,000 tonnes.Tomas, who was speaking to reporters at the first meeting this year of the Fisheries Administration Commission (CAP), said the Ministry is considering unspecified management measures that will lead to a gradual increase in the amount of prawns caught.The problem is to lift the prawn catch without compromising the sustainability of this resource. Tomas admitted that the low levels of the prawn catch result from overfishing in the past, and from the authorities’ lack of control over artisanal fishing.As for other fisheries resources, Tomas believed the picture was encouraging. The Mozambican Tuna Company (EMATUM) started fishing late last year with four boats, he said, and the tuna fleet will soon grow to around 30 vessels.The CAP, which meets four times a year, is drawing up a balance of fisheries activities last year, including the results of the prawn catch, and looking at the current state of the 2015 fishing campaign.Among the subjects under discussion is the use of damaging fishing gear. Of particular concern is the use of mosquito nets for fishing. The mesh on these nets is so fine that nothing can escape – they indiscriminately catch juveniles and larvae as well as adult fish and crustaceans.The Ministry hopes to use the Community Fishing Councils (CCPs) to dissuade artisanal fishermen from using mosquito nets and other environmentally damaging equipment.

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