Mozambique’s fish stock “almost collapsed”

Here on Chibuene Beach in Vilanculos District, this canoe has been out of work for days as its owner, Patricia Manuel, 35, failed to catch any fish. This is due to the scarcity of fish in the sea.

Like Patricio, most of the population resort to fishing to survive in this neighborhood with enormous tourist potential, especially at a time when the area is grappling with the impact of covid-19.

In a sad mood, Patricia explained how bad the situation was.

“Our region has no more fish, our nets no longer catch anything. There are no more fish, we have no more fish.[…] We have nothing to eat … The sea is our life “, adds the young fisherman, who was born and raised in Chibuene, almost always on the brink of poverty, although nature has never left him, his six children and his wife without food on the table.

The pressure on nature itself, combined with the use of harmful fishing techniques, such as “trawl nets”, begins to threaten the community itself, with obvious signs in the ecosystem itself.

Authorities admit the existence of marine species threatened by pressure from fishermen, who now fish to eat and sell.

“I was born here a long time ago and have been a fisherman for years. We had a lot of fish in the past, now we have nothing. I have children. [six] who suffer because they don’t have a job either “, said Francisco Lopes, another fisherman from Chibuene.

Although aware of the dilemma of those who need the sea to survive, the authorities have decided to declare closed seasons which vary between three and five months, a measure which aims to prevent the extinction of certain species and to ensure reproduction. fishes.

Inhambane province governor Daniel Chapo, who spoke in Portuguese, believes the problem is bigger than what the country is currently experiencing. He believes that action should be taken at the global level.

“The issue of the ecosystem, climate change and other issues – especially the marine ecosystem – is not just a challenge for Inhambane Province. It is a global challenge.”

The 2nd edition of the International Conference “Crescendo Azul”, under the slogan “Investing in the health of the ocean is investing in the future of the planet”, will be addressed by the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, and will be followed by the Head of State of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Portuguese Minister of the Sea, as well as several other governors of Mozambique’s partner countries.

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