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Mozambique has many rivers and lakes that habitat to many kinds of crustaceans. The country provides delicious, high-quality Mozambique prawns and shrimps to the local and markets.
Mozambique prawns are the country’s most essential species of the fishing sector. They are extensively sourced from the Sofala Bank areas. It is located in Sofala province. Deep-water prawn and shrimp fishing is one of the most underutilized sectors. The potential in this area is immense and there is a belief that if fully realized Mozambique could double the revenue generated from prawns and shrimps exports.
Mozambique coastal line stretches 2700 square kilometers with her inland waters covering 13,000 square kilometers.
A large chunk of Mozambique shrimps and prawns come from artisan fishermen. This sector is so important for the nation that about 850,000 households rely on it to put food on the table and sustain themselves. However, the government still faces numerous challenges in the fishery sector. There is growing concerns that some of this challenges if not solved could hamper the booming sector. The main challenge is unsustainable fishing amongst fishers as well as illegal fishing activities. The government with the help of other private organizations continues to work on the invention of sustainable fishing mechanisms that will curb overfishing, illegal fishing to prevent the sector from crumbling.
Some of the measures involve awareness campaigns highlighting the consequences of these actions. The campaigns are aimed at fishers and consumers. Other important crustaceans that you can get from Mozambique include mud crabs which are found in large volumes. Others the marine brown mussel (Perna perna)from the Southern provinces, spats or bloodstock as well as other varieties of mussels namely sand mussel (Modiolus philippinarum) common in the north provinces.
Export value and sources
A lion share of Mozambique shrimp and prawn exports are directed to the European Union. The exports are approximated to stand at 82% of the entire shrimp and prawn production. Most of those exports go to Portugal and Spain. The country records over 150,000 tons of marine catches annually.
There are three main sources of Mozambique shrimps and prawns. They include:
Freshwaters-They are integral to the Mozambique aquaculture. An example is the thousands of fish ponds located in the central province and the Massingir reservoir in the South.
Marine waters-Partly are made up by industrial and semi industrial fisheries and usually involve joint ventures between the government and the private industries especially from Japan and Spain. Catches are frozen the same day after fishing then exported to the European Union and Japan. Aside from shrimps and prawns they also deal with commercial species such as crabs, fish and lobsters.
They also involve small-scale and artisanal fisheries-These are the most important sources as they contribute at least 80% of Mozambique marine catches. They include fish collectors, divers, individual and small groups of artisanal fishers. Due to their weak economic capability they use small vessels and other affordable tools such as gill nets to fish. Mainly conducted in the Zambezia, Nampula, Inhambane, Maputo and Sofala provinces but mainly the entire coastline is where these activities take place.
Inland waters- They include man-made Lake Cohora Bassa, river Zambezi and the third largest lake in Africa Niassa. It is also the third deepest globally.
Mozambique prawns and shrimps are exported in various forms. They include fresh, frozen and chilled forms. The frozen and chilled form help extend the shelf life.
Harvesting, packing and grading
Mozambique prawns and shrimps are caught using phytosanitary conditions. The fishing gears are pre-sterilized and the fishers are well skilled. This helps to capture the best shrimps and prawns that meet international standards. They are also experienced hence they have the advantage of knowing their way around the water sources.
Artisanal fishers who are the main sources also use canoes, motorboats, baskets and canoes.
Processing sees the workers start by sorting healthy catches. They are then graded based on the size, appearance and physical features. Our processing of Uganda fish begins with sorting the healthy ones and grouping them by species.
After thoroughly washing the shrimps and prawns with clean water they are placed in freezer bags. They are counted as they are put inside the bags to avoid confusion. Designated ice-clad wrappers and iced milk cartons are also used. What follows is putting clear labels. Each label shows details such as the delivery conditions, date of inspection as well as the weight.
They are then transported in special vans fitted with refrigeration equipment. They help extend the shelf life. The vans are driven to the Maputo airport where the cargo is airlifted to the various destinations. Usually storage is temporary and the conditions are cool, dry and no light is allowed to penetrate through. This helps keep the prawns and shrimps fresh.
The handling of Mozambique prawns and shrimps is under clean and hygienic conditions. They are also thoroughly inspected by health officers before sealing the packages to ascertain they are of recommended export standards. The prices on the other hand are relatively fair as they are molded to meet clients’ budgets. Make your order today!
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