Mozambique expects to earn at least $90 million a year after it establishes a tuna-fishing fleet, Victor Borges, the country’s fisheries minister said.
The country, which lies on the Indian Ocean, could catch 23,000 metric tons of the fish a year, Borges said, citing a feasibility study.
Mozambique this year sold $850 million in bonds to fund the purchase of tuna fishing vessels and patrol boats, according to advisory company Teneo Intelligence. Empresa Mocambicana de Atum SA, or Mozambican Tuna Co., was set up by the government in August. Revenue from tuna fishing is currently only about $1 million, Borges said.
“Tuna fishing in Mozambique is currently dominated by foreign companies,” Borges told parliament in Maputo, the capital, yesterday. “There are 130 vessels catching tuna in the Mozambique economic zone and among those only one is Mozambican.”
Shrimp accounts for about 70 percent of Mozambique’s fishing catch, according to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation.
“We need to renegotiate the agreement with our main partner, the European Union, to bring domestic emancipation in the exploitation of this resource,” Borges said in an interview today. “We are not saying we want it exclusively for Mozambicans. We will negotiate with our partners and set specific quotas that ensure that Mozamnicans get the most benefit.”
Mozambique wants to control the tuna industry in its waters withing 15 years, he said. Aside from the state company, known as Ematum, there are five local companies bidding to start tuna fishing he said.