Mozambique: Inflation of 0.7 per cent in March, annual inflation was 6.67 per cent - AIM
The high cost of fuel in the country is a chronic problem for industrial and semi-industrial fishing operators, and the sector is as a consequence asking for a specific fuel supply regime.
As a result of the high cost of fuel, this year in particular and due to instability in world markets, operators say that the problem will certainly increase their already high operating costs, as diesel alone represents around 42% of fishing companies’ expenses.
In this context, Muzila Nhatsave, Secretary General of the Mozambican Association of Industrial Fisheries of Shrimp (AMAPIC), said it was urgent “to allow this sector to supply its fleet via bunkering hubs, a regime [characterised by lower import duties] which is practiced in several countries, where the fishing sector has a special regime for the purchase of fuel”.
“Otherwise, the scenario is not very encouraging, as the already low competitiveness of our companies in relation to the competition will deteriorate further, since we do not have the capacity and possibility to lower prices for the reasons mentioned above,” Nhatsave said.
Nhatsave was speaking in Beira a few days ago at an event led by the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Lídia Cardoso, in which leaders from Sofala province and businesspeople in the fisheries sector also participated.
On the occasion, Nhatsave said that the fisheries industry was still worried about the recent announcements of prospecting and research for oil and gas on the Sofala bank, the country’s richest fishing grounds. Operators fear that seismic activities and future disturbances could harm industrial fishing.
In order to avoid damage to fishing activities and so that their concerns are taken into account, the sector’s operators asked the minister to include the sector in the monitoring of the process. The fisheries sector, they say, exploits renewable resources and is responsible not only for feeding millions of Mozambicans, but also offers them an alternative to lack of employment and income.
By Evaristo Chilingue