Mozambique tackles illegal fishing

The Mozambique government is taking a stand against illegal fishing in the country. Photo: Steve Evans The Mozambique government is taking a stand against illegal fishing in the country. Photo: Steve Evans
Industry Database

The government of Mozambique has taken a vital step in the fight against illegal fishing with the ratification of a FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

African countries are among the most targeted by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, due to insufficient fisheries monitoring and governance in the region. Mozambique is the only third African state – and the eleventh in the world – to ratify the PSMA. This ratification means the country will be better able to close its ports to illegal operators and shut down its markets to illegally caught fish.

WFF has welcomed the ratification. Anabela Rodrigues, Mozambique country director, said: “By ratifying this important treaty, the Government is showing real national and international leadership in the fight against illegal fishing practices that threaten the resources and fishing communities of our region.”

Illegal fishing contributes to overfishing and is said to be responsible for US$10-$23.5bn stolen from the global economy each year and US$35m a year in Mozambique.

IUU fishing in Mozambique includes fishing without a license, unauthorised transhipments, failing to report catches or making false reports, keeping undersized fish or fish that are otherwise protected, fishing in closed areas or during closed seasons, or using prohibited fishing gear that damages ecosystems.

WFF says these practices put community livelihoods in danger, as two-thirds of Mozambique’s population lives along the coast and depends on fish as a key source of daily protein and employment.

“Ratifying and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement is one of the most important actions governments can take in the fight against IUU fishing. We hope that other countries will urgently follow the example of Mozambique and ratify this much needed global agreement,” added Ms Rodrigues.

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