A reduction in funding and a deficit in inspectors are two factors behind the illegal practices registered in Zambézia’s fishing sector, even during the closed season.
The inspector to fisherman ratio stands at around 4,052 to one, for a coast more than 400 kilometres long and in a province with several fishing centres, both marine and inland.
The problems were outlined in Quelimane yesterday by the director of Zambezia’s Services for Economic Activities, Jabula Zibia, at the VIII Ordinary Session of the Council of State Representative Provincial Services.
Taking stock of inspection and monitoring activities during the closed season, Zibia expressed concern about the lack of inspectors and of adequate means for surveillance throughout the coastal and inland fisheries.
The director said that the province needed a vessel to carry out inspection work, noting that one scheduled for delivery last year had never arrived. Even so, Zibia was hopeful for its appearance this year, which would be a starting point for the province to boost fisheries inspection work.
During the closed season, between December and March, 147 maritime and land patrols were carried out. The work culminated in the seizure of 1018 kilograms of crab, against 890 in the same period last year.
Also seized were 170 kilograms of surface shrimp, against 112 kilograms in the previous campaign, a rise of around 51.7 percent consequent on the strengthening of inspections in Pebane and Chinde.
The Secretary of State for Zambézia, Judith Mussácula, encouraged the sector to work with fishermen’s associations, urging them to abandon illegal practices.
For Mussácula, the imperative was to instil in practitioners the concept that the closed season was vital for stocks to multiply and grow, as a basis for ongoing profitability and the continuity of species.