Extending over 1,500 miles—the distance between Miami and Maine, Spain to Denmark—Mozambique’s coastline sustains millions of people and an economy heavily dependent on fisheries for jobs and protein. Half of Mozambicans live along Africa’s fourth largest coastline, and its small-scale fishers catch 85% of the country’s fish. Mozambique also holds extraordinary biodiversity, thought by many experts to be the second most biodiverse area in the world after the Coral Triangle.
Unfortunately, overfishing and destructive fishing techniques are diminishing fish catches and degrading ecosystems. National data show fish catch landings and overall catch size are declining, with small-scale fishers reporting that certain species no longer show up in their nets. It is estimated that overall artisanal catch has now declined nearly 30% over the last 25 years. Climate change will likely worsen this issue, as Mozambique’s coasts are vulnerable to cyclones, storm surges, and flooding.
Fish Forever in Mozambique works with village groups, community fisheries councils and district governments to build and strengthen community-based fisheries management of Mozambique’s coastal waters.
The program works to:
Establish managed access areas that provide fishing communities clear rights to fish in certain areas
Create networks of fully-protected and community-led no-take marine reserves to replenish and sustain fish populations and protect critical habitat
Build community engagement and effective management bodies to support local decision-making
Enable fishers to adopt more sustainable and better-regulated fishing behaviors (e.g., become a registered fisher; record fish catch; respect fishing regulations; and participate in fisheries management)
Collect, disseminate and help fishing communities use data for decision-making
Advance coastal fishing communities’ inclusion in financial and market opportunities to increase household resilience
Enact policy and unlock financing to promote and sustain this community-based management approach
Felipe Viegas, local fisher in Mozambique, proud of receiving his first fisher registration ID card
Fish Forever has developed an extensive global partnership network of over 100 organizations and institutions to make change happen. Rare focuses on building the capacities of our implementing partners to sustain this change long after Rare’s involvement ends. Rare partners in Mozambique include national government ministries (Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Institute for Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture); provincial and district governments (in Nampula, Sofala, Inhambane, Maputo, and Cabo Delgado provinces); international organizations (The World Bank, International Union for Conservation of Nature); fishers and fisher associations (Community Fishing Councils); and other civil society groups.