Here at the Chibuene beach in Vilanculos district, this canoe has been out of work for days, because its owner, 35 year old Patricia Manuel has been unsuccessful in catching fishes. This is due to the scarcity of fishes in the sea.
Like Patricio, Most of the population resorts to fishing for survival in this district with huge tourist potential, especially at a time when the sector is battling the impact of covid-19.
In a sorrowful mood, Patricia explained how bad the situation has been.
“Our region no longer has any fish, our nets no longer catch anything. There is no fish, we have run out of 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 verge 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 “trawling nets”, is beginning to threaten the community itself, with obvious signs in the ecosystem itself.
The authorities admit the existence of marine species threatened with the pressure of fishermen, who now fish to eat and to sell.
“I was born here long ago and have been a fisherman for years. We had a lot of fish in the past time, now we have nothing. I have children [six] who are suffering because they also have no work,” says Francisco Lopes, another fisherman from Chibuene.
Although aware of the dilemma of those who need the sea to survive, the authorities have decided to decree closed seasons that vary between three and five months, a measure that aims to prevent the extinction of some species and ensure the reproduction of fish.
Governor of Inhambane province, Daniel Chapo who spoke in Portuguese believes the issue is bigger than what the country is currently experiencing. He is of the view measures should be taken at the global level.
“The issue of the ecosystem, climate change and other issues – especially the marine ecosystem – is not only a challenge for the Inhambane province. It is a global challenge.”
The 2nd edition of the International “Crescendo Azul” Conference, under the slogan “Investing in the health of the ocean is investing in the future of the planet,” will be addressed by Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, and will be attended by the head of state of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Portugal’s Minister of the Sea, as well as several other governors of partner countries of Mozambique.