Illegal fishing has been proven the Mozambican economy at least US $60m per year. This is according to a report released by the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Agostinho Mondlane.
Minister Mondlane said this situation poses major challenges for strengthening inspection activities along the Mozambican coast. As such, he said that there is need to seek innovative and coordinated solutions at national, regional and international level, to end the illegal practices that are corroding the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, SADC (Southern African Development Community) is setting up a Regional Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) centre. This is to be located in the outlying Maputo neighborhood of Katembe. Work on building the centre is due to begin next year. The move has been termed as an extremely important gain on this front by Mondlane.
However, before the center is up and running, the Minister called for creative and bolder ways to enable surveillance to work in the fight against illegal fishing. He further called for tighter control on the inspection of fisheries produce, both for domestic consumption and for export.
Minister Mondlane said in order for the fight to bear any fruits there must be consistency in terms of ensuring that practices such as under-declaring catches are stopped. This, he said, will go a long way towards ensuring the amount exported and the values of sales abroad are at par. The achievement of this fete would then need an efficient control and monitoring system.