P&S lead the way to no-take zones, the rest of Mozambique took notice
Overfishing is an enormous problem in Northern Mozambique. Millions of people living in the heavily populated coastal areas in Nampula province are seeing the amount of fish dwindling and their livelihood options becoming less secure. In an effort to mitigate this growing problem, Primeiras e Segundas pioneered the establishment of no-take zones in its protected area.
Tapua and Corane in Moma district were the first two no-take zones in Mozambique. When P&S started studying the area to establish them in 2010, the local government had a difficult time understanding fishing restrictions in an area where people’s livelihoods are greatly dependent on fishing. Now, the Ministry of Fisheries is leading efforts and scientific studies in Angoche district to establish new no-take zones, and other stakeholders are using Tapua and Corane as examples.
After the huge success of these two no-take zones in terms of specie variety, abundance and benefits to the community in the estuary, the no-take zones are not only attracting hordes of fishermen to the spillover zones but also some visitors wanting to follow the footsteps of P&S.
A multi-sector team including representatives from SNV, an international non-profit organization from the Netherlands working in Mozambique, Vale, a global mineral company based in Brazil, and five community leaders from Nacala Velha, a city in northern Nampula province, visited the two no-take zones to learn about the P&S program and establish no-take zones in their area.
First stop was Tapua, where the community leaders from Nacala Velha saw several people taking advantage of the spillover zones, which form the area around the no-take zones, allowing people to catch the abundant in fish that “spill over.” Amisse Amade and his son, Ali Amade, were two of the fishermen that were interviewed by the Nacala Velha community leaders. The discussion was about the benefits of the no-take zones and if they like the abundance of fish and crab in the spillover areas.
“At home [Nacala Velha] we never get crabs from the sea, we only get the one from the land and those bite,” said Jaime Ali, one of the community leaders. They also talked to one of the Tapua monitors, Seferino Amisse, who explained to them what he does once he finds people fishing within the limits of the no-take zones.
“If we find someone, we take him to the authorities and take his fishing tools,” Seferino Amisse explained to the visitors. He works as a volunteer without any monetary compensation for his work. He does this because he understands the benefits of his work for the community.
After the visit, Cremildo Armando, P&S’s Marine Natural Resources Manager, explained that sharing responsibilities is essential to the management of the no-take zones and other initiatives like mangrove replanting, which will also be an explored option for Nacala Velha.
“The community itself is already aware about the benefits of no-take zones. We can see that the monitors and the community leaders had to work hard to achieve this,” said Sajad Justino, who works as the Subsistence and Resource Restoration official for Vale.
Ensuring food security in the region is essential. In Nacala Velha, the second largest city in the province, this is of outmost importance to its more than 200,000 inhabitants. The private sector, other NGOs and the local leaders have now found an alternative to ensure specie variety and availability of fish – no-take zones. P&S paved the way for this initiative and now it is being replicated in other places in Mozambique.