Norway is generally considered a country that has managed its maritime resources in a sustainable manner. Norwegian technology and management models in aquaculture, as well as systems of hygiene, and prevention and control of diseases are viewed as among the best in the world. Norway considers sustainable management of maritime resources an absolute precondition for successful management of global resources and environment. Approximately 90 % of existing biomasses is found in the oceans. Maritime resources therefore represent a valuable renewable resource related to nutrition, food security, employment and export. Given the right conditions, such as good governance and a conducive legal framework, Norway believes that fisheries and aquaculture have a great potential for business development and economic growth.
The Mozambican territory has a coastline of about 2 700 km and an exclusive economic zone of about 586,000 km2. On the mainland, in addition to 25 major rivers flowing all year, there are many coastal and inland lagoons and floodplains. There are two major continental lakes, namely Lake Niassa and the Cahora Bassa reservoir. The fisheries sector represents about 3% of Mozambique’s GDP and the great majority of the catch is done through artisanal fishing. Over two thirds of the population of Mozambique live within 150 km of the coast, and the fisheries sector is an important source of both animal protein and employment. Artisanal fishery is a male dominated profession. Of approximately 350,000 people involved in the field about 80 % are men. Traditionally aquaculture has been limited to inland waters and was associated with agricultural activities. This situation has evolved somewhat over the last 20 years. There are today commercial enterprises dedicated to the farming of shrimp, algae and some species of fish in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala.
Norwegian support to fisheries development in Mozambique
Cooperation with Mozambique was initiated more than 30 years ago when the Norwegian research vessel Dr. Fritjof Nansen, then at service of UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), made the first overall assessment of the fisheries resources in the marine waters of Mozambique. Norway’s support to the sector evolved gradually to institutional support in the area of small-scale fisheries. In 2009 the cooperation entered into a new programme cycle establishing a common fund including contributions from Iceland. Cooperation in the fisheries sector has had multiple targets, including contributing to food and nutritional security and poverty reduction, as well as increased output from the industrial fisheries and commercial aquaculture. Considered a vehicle to improve food security and nutrition, the current programme cycle (2013-2017) focuses on ensuring sustainable use of maritime resources through small-scale fishing and aquaculture. More specifically the programme will contribute to the establishment of the Centre for Prevention and Control of Diseases, sustainable management of fisheries, development and implementation of a new statistical system and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS). A project targeting increased involvement of women in aquaculture activities will be piloted. In addition, the programme foresees the establishment of the museum of fisheries aiming to preserve and exhibit artifacts, as well as samples of the main targeted fish stocks in the country.
Through the Tax for Development Programme Norway cooperates with the Mozambican Tax Authority (Autoridade Tributária) to improve coordination and revenue collection from the fisheries sector.