Illegal fishing fries revenue

MAPUTO - Mozambique wants R806million from international partners to fund a crackdown on illicit fishing in its waters.

The illegal activity makes a heavy dent in annual revenues, a top maritime official said yesterday.

"It's a serious problem affecting the fishing industry. Mozambique loses $38million a year due to illegal fishing but a plan has been drawn up to deal with the problem," the deputy national director of the maritime administration, Augusto Nhampule, told an illegal fishing conference in Maputo.

Fishing contributes about four percent to Mozambique's gross domestic product.

Mozambique is negotiating with international partners to provide $80million (R806million) to purchase surveillance vessels to monitor its 2500km coastline and curb illegal fishing.

Last year Mozambique seized a Namibian-registered ship carrying tons of illegally fished sharks.

The Antillas Reefer was seized off the coast of Zambezia province, where fishing inspectors found 43 tons of shark as well as tonnes of shark fin, shark tail, shark liver and shark oil, with an estimated value of R50million.

"The sub-Saharan African region loses an estimated $1billion (R10billion) annually due to illegal fishing," Nhampule said. - Reuters