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The growing demand for clams in the local and international market should stimulate the private sector to invest in processing units to maintain and raise quality standards.
So said the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Agostinho Mondlane, for whom the country’s climatic conditions favour the practice of fishing, fish farming and aquaculture on a large scale.
Speaking after the visit to A-One Enterprises, Lda., a Japanese-owned clams processing unit in Matola, Maputo province, Mondlane challenged the company to branch into other species in order to diversify production.
“As a country, we have the responsibility to produce enough to feed the local market, but also to supply the regional and international market in general. The big challenge is to invest in human capital, because mastering techniques is imperative,” the minister said. Fostering fisheries, he added, was a government priority.
The clam processing unit, in operation since 2015, earns US$120,000 a month from exports to countries like Japan and Thailand, where the main markets are located.
The company employs 86 workers at its headquarters and connects with 310 artisanal fishermen and women, who have no formal contract with the company and are paid according to their catch.
In addition to Maputo, A-One Enterprises, Lda has an aquaculture station in the Chokwé district of Gaza province, clam supply stations in Beira city and in Búzi district in Sofala and in Quelimane, Zambezia province.
Marcos Mangave, the company’s administrator, explained that one of the main constraints was falling daily catches. As an example, in Quelimane, the average yield per fisherman fell from 44 kg to 33 kg, and in Buzi, from 50 kg to 2 kg.
Clam fishing is done only during the period of live tides, which last 18 days each month. In the dead tides these crustaceans tend to be scarce. “We are afraid that the clams will disappear and are therefore asking that a responsible person elaborates strategies to preserve this fishery,” he told the minister.
One of the suggestions made by Minister Mondlane was the production of clams by aquaculture, involving the company and coastal communities where it operates.
Asked about the sale of fishery products on public highways, the minister said that, in coordination with municipalities and district governments, the ministry was committed to disseminating good hygiene and fishery product conservation practices, the absence of which constituted a danger to public health.Source: Notícias / TVM