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The Kapenta Fishery of Cahora Bassa, Moçambique:

Analysis and Proposed Management Measures.

A Report prepared for the Government of Mozambique

based on the work of

M. K. Kelleher

(FAO Consultant)

Fisheries Management and Law Advisory Programme - FIMLAP - Phase II



Rome, July 1996



6. Conclusions and proposed action plan

6.1. Conclusions

The Mozambican authorities appreciate that the rapidly expanding kapenta fishery required controls on investment and effort. Accepting independent scientific advice a limit of 100 vessels has been imposed by ministerial decision. A moratorium has also placed on investment project authorisations given under the investment law.

It is concluded that the fishery is still in a development phase and that a stable fishery economy will not emerge for some time. Profits are currently being reinvested and catches are rising sharply. Of considerable concern is the concentration of effort in the eastern basins as the license limit was based on the assumption that fishing effort would be spread throughout the lake. This concentration of effort, caused by the presence of infrastructure and higher catch rates in these basins, further supports the government's timely decision to limit licenses. The mission believes that this limit of 100 licenses should be mantained in the medium-term and reviewed following several years of fishery stability.

Conscious of the fact that biological depletion of the kapenta fishery is unlikely even in conditions of high exploitation, management attention has focused on the economic aspects of the fishery. The license limitation will contribute to mantaining profitability, sutainability and net benefits from the fishery. To assure an equitable distribution of benefits from the fishery between the investors, the local economy, and the State, the license limitation needs to be supported by an effective monitoring of the investment agreements, supervision of exports and export prices, and the establishment of an effective development plan for the the Lake in general and for the Chicoa area in particular.

Because of the tax holidays granted as investment incentives, the tax revenue from this profitable fishery will not accrue to the State for several years. However foreign exchange earnings should reach 10 million US$ in the 1996-97 year when a full complement of rigs will operate. Current benefits include the employment of approximately 1500, which should increase to 3000 as investment continues. The fishery will effectively result in the creation of a new town in Chicoa and the associated infrastructure and economic benefits for the area. The foreign exchange benefits are not presently being fully realised because of transfer pricing. In the longer term, the export of retail packs of kapenta, rather than the current wholesale bags (20-30kg) should be promoted to increase value-added and employment.

There is an immediate need for government support for the industry in the provision of government services which are essentially outside the scope of the individual investors. These actions include the urgent repair of 12km of road and the posting of government officers to Chicoa, which currently has no government presence. These officers should include police officer(s) and agents of the customs, immigration, fisheries, marine transport, health and educational services.

Dialogue between the fishing industry and the fisheries and local authorities is also urgently required to resolve operational problems, to formulate plans for the fishery and the Chicoa area, and to make industry financial support available for local infrastructure development.

Catch and effort monitoring and fisheries research priorities should be geared to resolving specific management issues and carried out in close consultation with the industry.

Three project outlines are attached as guidelines for further work. These outlines refer to: the management of the fishery; a study on marketing and value added processing; and studies leading to an integrated development plan for the Lake.

6.2. Statement of policy

A clear public statement of policy for the development of the fishery is required. A draft policy statement should be made available to and discussed with the fishing companies prior to approval. The policy statement should clarify the following aspects of the fishery.

1. The level of exploitation of the kapenta resource to be based on scientific advice regarding the resource potential and stability.

2. The primary management objective to be the securing of a stable and profitable fishery through the implementation of a limited entry regime, the limit to be public knowledge and be reviewed periodically in relation to the development of the fishery.

3. The kapenta fishery to contribute to net foreign exchange earnings for the country, to food supplies, to the development of the local fishing and agricultural communities and the economic development of the lake area, with particular reference to employment and infrastructure development.

4. The investment commitments made by the fishing companies to be implemented in a planned manner and an equitable share of the benefits from the investments to accrue to Mozambique.

5. The establishment of a forum for dialogue between the kapenta industry, the fisheries administration and the local authorities with a view to: developing the fishery, the lakefront and the infrastructure in a planned manner; to maintaining a balance between the kapenta and the artisanal fishing activities; and to defining a long term cooperative programme of applied fisheries research and development studies for the lake.

6. The distribution of fishing effort among the various basins of the Lake.

A formal Ministerial policy statement, or other appropriate instrument, should be prepared setting out the policy position and accompanying administrative, or regulatory, measures. The instrument could indicate support for the establishment of a kapenta industry association and DNP could take steps to assist in its creation.


6.3. Controls on fishing

The primary objectives of controlling fishing effort are twofold: to ensure an adequate level of catch per unit effort (CPUE) and to avoid disputes and conflicts. Maintaining a high catch per unit effort will provide a firm basis for a low cost high return fishery allowing the net benefits of the fishery to be used to pay for the investments in fishing vessels, shore bases, and related infrastructure and to contribute to government revenues.

The primary control measure is a limit to the number of fishing licenses issued. A limit of 100 licenses has been set based on recent expert scientific advice. The current study counsels a conservative approach to the development of a stable fishery and recommends that the fishing licenses be limited to 100 in accordance with the scientific advice. Any future increases in the number of rigs could be done initially by means of charter arrangements to avoid committing further capital to the fishery. An artisanal kapenta fishery should not be promoted at the present time.

The existing modern fisheries legislation appears adequate for the purposes of license limitation and control of the fishery in the medium term. A first draft of an inland fisheries regulation has been prepared by DNP.

The distribution of fishing effort among the various basins on the Lake is being addressed through curtailing the establishment of any further fishing camps in the Chicoa/ George basins. it does not appear practical to attempt to restrict rig operations to specific areas, or basins. Consideration could be given to mantaining the distribution of fishing licenses among the fishing companies in such a manner as to ensure that the fishing licenses do not become monopolised in the hands of a small number of large companies (if so desired).


6.4. Monitoring of the investment projects

It is suggested that a small working group be formed to monitor these and other investment projects. The group should include experienced officers from CPI, MAP and the Provincial authorities, should work in close consultation with the fishing industry and draw on the resources of the Ministries of Commerce and Finance as required. The question of strict adherence to the letter of the investment authorisation should be tempered by an appreciation of the difficulties of operating a fishing venture in a remote area.

Specific attention should be directed to the issue of export pricing and remittances. Consultation with the customs and banking authorities in Zimbabwe may be necessary. Changes to the existing practice should be done in cooperation with the industry, taking due care that the changes to not impede the efficient functioning of the companies.


6.5. Integrated development of lake

Consideration should be given to the preparation of a plan for the use of the lake area and its considerable resources. The presence of an 'unlimited' supply of cheap electric power, the potential for the creation of wildlife reserves, the kapenta and tiger fish fishery and the undoubted tourist potential of the area suggest that a major development plan for the area could be prepared for bankable project funding. The first step could be the establishment of an advisory committee on the utilisation of the lake's resources.

The specific requirements of the fishing industry need to be addressed in the short term. Of primary importance is the improvement of the road to Chicoa. The presence of a large road project (ER 457 Magoè - Mucumbura) in the area, should be seen as an ideal opportunity to extend the road an additional 12km to Chicoa (estimated cost 2000-4000 US$ per km). Finance for this extension should be urgently sought. The fishing industry has indicated a willingness to finance the construction of housing and offices for basic public services including: police, health, fisheries, marine transport, customs, immigration and schools. To secure and coordinate this finance the industry association needs to be formally established and a dialogue with the Provincial authorities initiated. MAP and DNP may play an important role in promoting such cooperation.

6.6. Specific research tasks

The research tasks may be divided into two areas: questions which have a direct bearing or application to the management of the fishery; and questions relating to the improvement of the understanding of the physical and biological dynamics of the lake.

In relation to management the focus of research efforts should be on:

· establishing the fishing yield and CPUE of the various basins through on-board monitoring of catches;

· establishing the unfishable area of each basin by digitising the old contour maps of the lake area prior to the filling of the lake; and

· establishing whether the river mouth areas are important for recruitment and growth of young fish by on site sampling.

Research cooperation with companies could make rigs available on Saturdays or Sundays.

In relation to the improved understanding of the dynamics of the fishery efforts should concentrate initially on studies seeking to correlate suitable catch statistics, or other measures of fish abundance with environmental parameters.

6.7. Future work programme

The proposed future work programme can be divided into three projects.

A project can be established to provide the inputs to ensure the long-term management of the kapenta fishery.

A short study can be considered to examine the various issues involved in promoting the establishment of value-added processing of kapenta in Mozambique.

Consideration can be given to initiating (a series of) studies on the integrated development of the Lake with particular emphasis on aquatic activities such as sport fishing, sailing, house boats and associated tourism.

Outlines of these possible projects are given in Annex 2.





A report prepared for the

Assistance to Artisanal Fisheries Project

Based on the work of

M. K. Kelleher

(Fisheries Specialist)

TCP/SYR/4552(A) Field document (draft) April 1996


Rome, 1996



6.1. The capture fisheries

6.1.1. The state of the capture fisheries

Based on the low catches, the large proportion of small size and juvenile fish in the landings and the marginal returns to fishermen, the marine artisanal fishery is considered to be overexploited with low, or marginal returns to the fishermen. Fishing remains economically viable due to high local market fish prices maintained by a restriction on all fresh and frozen fish imports. Any increases in production will be based on targeting of pelagic species and enhancement of demersal stocks through improved management.

Based on the low catch rates and the high proportion of juvenile fish in the trawl catch, this fishery is overexploited. Similarly to the artisanal fishery, high local market prices maintain the viability of the fishery. The fishery has a considerable negative effect on overall fish production and in particular on the benefits accruing to the artisanal fishermen. An increase in total fish production is likely to be achieved if the trawl fishery ends. There are no simple solutions to the problems faced by the distant water fleet.

Based on the lack of increases in boat numbers, large size of the fish in the landings, the relatively high catch rates and the estimated earnings of the fishermen, it is concluded that the Lake Assad fishery is in a healthy state. However, fishermen’s incomes are generally low, and the production level is probably close to the MSY. No biological information is available upon which to base management decisions. Little information is available upon which to assess the state of the other lake, reservoir and river fisheries.

6.1.2. Measures to improve the capture fisheries

Major increases in production are unlikely due to natural resource constraints. However improved yields can be achieved through effective fisheries management. The management measures used should be directed at the control of inputs into the fisheries sector. Limits should be placed on boat numbers based on adequate technical advice. The impact on fish production of the existing mesh size regulations should be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. An assessment of the value and timing of the closed seasons should be undertaken. In the event that the costs of fishing gear are reduced some care should be taken to ensure that the savings are not invested in additional gear and fishing power per unit.

Measures to increase production and yeilds

(i) Control of fishing. DOF needs to develop an improved capability to monitor and control fishing activities. Clear roles and communications must be established between the Port Directorates and the DOF offices at local level, complemented with a coherent allocation of tasks and legal authorities. It is important that the artisanal fishing communities be involved in any fisheries management decision making process.

(ii) Catch and effort monitoring. Efforts should be made to standardise the collection of statistical data on fisheries, and to collate, compile and analyse the data at national level. Logbooks should be introduced for trawlers, both to record basic information on catch and effort and to aid in monitoring the operation of the distant water vessels.

(iii) Limited access. A limited entry fishery should be created to halt the increase in the number of vessels operating. A policy of ‘replacement only’ for artisanal vessels is recommended. This can readily be enforced through the existing Ports Directorate system of approval for the construction of new vessels.

(iv) Gear restrictions. Gear restrictions on nets, for both the artisanal and trawl fishery should be maintained. This should be complemented with a study of the effectiveness of the mesh size chosen. A study should be undertaken of possible benefits of introducing a minimum hook size and appropriate recommendations made.

(v) Area restrictions - protected zones. In close co-operation with the various fishing communities and other marine users, the possibilities of creating closed, or protected zones should be investigated. Considerations should include the identification of fish breeding and nursery areas, sites of tourist potential, and ease of monitoring, control and surveillance.

(vii) Effort restrictions. DOF should enforce limits on trawl effort in the period immediately following the end of the closed season. Such effort limits should be decided in consultation with the fishing companies and designed to limit landings to volumes which can readily be marketed without a drastic fall in prices.

(viii) Explosives. Penalties for the use of explosives and poisons for fishing should be increased. A hotline, or other information system should be established in conjunction with a well-funded seagoing monitoring capability, and an effective legal means of enforcement.

(ix) Reduction in trawl fishing operation. The trawl fishery should be phased out through the non-renewal of licenses for aging vessels withdrawn from the fishery. A reduction in trawler operations is likely to have beneficial effects on the artisanal fishery through increased fish production, and increases in the average size of fish, and improved distributional effects.

(x) Co-ordination of Lake Assad fisheries. DOF should take the initiative in establishing a working group for the management and development of the Lake Assad’s fisheries. This group should have representation from both mohafazats, from the fishing industry, and from the scientific community.

(xi) Inland waters task force. DOF should set up a small expert group comprising biologist(s), development officer(s) and support staff (driver, technician) to survey and assist development of the small water bodies. The task force would be highly mobile, equipped with vehicle(s) and portable dingy(ies).

(xii) Consultation. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a formal consultative mechanism with the fishing communities, through the establishment of fisheries management and development committees.


Measures to increase the net returns to the fishermen

Increases in net returns to fishermen can be achieved through reducing the cost of fishing gear, developing port services on a commercial basis, promoting efficient and transparent marketing, providing access to credit, and assisting communal action through cooperatives.

(i) Gear supply. GEF, being the fisheries sector’s sole public commercial body, should take the responsibility of importing and wholesaling appropriate fishing gear, in particular, hooks, lines and nets. This should be done on a national scale and an appropriate financing and import plan devised by GEF in close co-operation with other appropriate agencies such as the General Establishment for Supply, and the Agricultural Cooperative Bank. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a duty free import warehouse for distant water fishing vessel supplies coupled with easier access to foreign exchange.

(ii) Access to credit. The Ministry for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform should establish a small working group drawn from the relevant concerned agencies to resolve the essentially bureaucratic problems of credit for fishermen.

(iii) Port services for artisanal fishermen. GEF should be allocated the responsibility of preparing and implementing commercially viable projects to provide slipways, fuel, water, ice, organised berthing and berth security, storage areas, outlets for the sale of gear, and small repair workshops at the fishing harbours. This will involve a departure from the traditional role of GEF.

DOF should request the Ports Authorities to provide the trawlers with some dedicated landing areas.

(iv) Wholesale marketplaces. All fishing harbours should be provided with adequate wholesale market floors, enabling fishing boats to discharge directly to the wholesale area. Provision should be made for box washing and icing of fish. These projects should be prepared as commercial ventures. DOF should obtain approval in principle at inter-Ministerial level (MAAR and Ministry of Transport) for the establishment of such wholesale markets. GEF should be allocated the responsibility of preparing and executing the projects and providing the overall management for the markets. In the case of Tartous, DOF, in consultation with the Arowad Coop, the Port Authority and the Tartous Governate, should seek to urgently resolve the current land title problems surrounding the existing market area. The plans of DOF for the erection of collection centers at Lake Assad should receive approval and funding. The design and operation of the centers should be planned in close co-operation with the Aleppo auction houses in order that the current efficient fish collection system is effectively enhanced. The import of fish produced by Syrian vessels in distant waters should be facilitated. Further bilateral, or joint venture solutions could be explored following the success of an initial operation.

(v) Boats. Consideration should be given to the introduction of more appropriate fishing boats, in particular sailing craft, which could replace the non-motorised vessels.

6.2. Aquaculture

6.2.1. The state of aquaculture

A growing private sector aquaculture industry is constrained by water problems, by lack of adequate feeds, variable fingerling supply, and a lack of veterinary services. Improvement in aquaculture should be based on a resolution of current problems, backed by practical research, and a development and extension programme.

6.2.2. Measures to improve aquaculture

(i) Aquaculture task force. DOF (possibly in association with GEF) should set up a task force comprising experienced aquaculturist(s), an aquaculture engineer, a veterinary specialised in fish disease, and an expert in fish feeds. This group should address and resolve the numerous problems facing the aquaculture industry, with priority given to feed supply and co-ordination of fingerling production.

(ii) GEF fish culture. GEF must take immediate measures to improve the technical management of its aquaculture operations. The production, accounting and marketing information system must operate in such a manner that senior management can identify potential problems prior to their occurrence, rather than responding to situations which have developed over several months.

6.3. The Institutions

6.3.1. The state of the institutions

The DOF, GEF, research institutions and associated fishermen’s and fish farmer’s organisations lack sufficient qualified staff. DOF has the responsibility for the overall development of the sector, while GEF, despite some shortcomings, is the only institution which possesses the practical experience and commercial role required to address the development problems of the artisanal fisheries. There is a need for co-ordination in the programming of complementary actions by the two public institutions (DOF and GEF) to develop all the nation’s fisheries resources. This should be done by a joint long-term planning and cooperative process at both technical and policy level.

DOF should pursue the main tasks of administration and management of the fisheries while GEF needs to expand its role to address the aspects of the fisheries development problems which can be the basis for viable commercial projects. These are: the import and wholesaling of fishing gear; the provision of port services and wholesale markets for fish; and the provision of fish feeds and quality fingerlings to the aquaculture industry.

6.3.2. Measures to improve the operation of DOF

(i) Manpower and training. DOF must devise a comprehensive manpower training programme both for its own officers and for the fishermen. Priority should be given to the training of a cadre of extension agents, biologists and fisheries officers who can implement future development and management plans and institute a fisheries extension service both for the capture fisheries and for aquaculture.

(ii) DOF office locations. DOF must secure office premises near, or at the fishing harbours, the lakes or rivers. Fisheries officers should be based in locations which have ready access to the fishing communities and the operational relationships with the Ports Authorities concerning the licensing of fishing boats should be clarified.

(iii) Research programming and priorities. DOF, through the relevant national committee must prepare a long-term programme prioritising marine fisheries research tasks. The co-operation of the universities and other relevant national and international bodies should be sought both for the preparation, financing and implementation of the programme. The primary focus of research work should directed towards achieving an understanding of the various fisheries in order to provide a basis for informed management decisions. In the marine fisheries priorities could include an examination of: the relationships between the artisanal and trawl fisheries; the impact of increasing the minimal sizes of net mesh and hooks in the artisanal fishery; and the identification of possible locations for protected zones. In the freshwater fisheries efforts should concentrate on: the basic biology of the fish species, with particular attention to size at maturity, predator prey relationships; an analysis of the catch composition; and the possibility of introducing new species. In aquaculture attention should focus on fish feed problems, on fish culture in the irrigation/ drainage canals, on desalinisation, and on optimising the use of water at small farm level. The continued involvement of DOF in the monitoring of the marine and freshwater environment is also important.

(v) Legislation. An examination of the current patchwork of legislation should be undertaken by lawyer with experience in fisheries legislation with a view to remedying any major omissions and reviewing the need for new comprehensive legislation.

(vi) Consultation with industry. DOF must ensure effective communications with the industrial and artisanal fishermen and the aquaculture industry through a programme of meetings in order to establish a planning framework involving the producers.

6.3.2 Measures to improve the operation of GEF

(i) Incentives, decentralisation and management. The centralised management mechanism must become more decentralised, with decisions on operational matters made at farm level whenever possible. The productivity related pay scale is a corollary to such functional independence and a prerequisite to effective functioning of the farms. The excess headquarters staff should be gradually moved to the production units, and retrained if necessary. The management information system must be improved, enabling GEF to ascertain the most favourable mixes of species in each farm and integrating production, cost accounting and financial accounting schemes in a coherent and useful manner.

(iii) Technical training. GEF requires training in modern business management techniques. Basic and advanced training in aquaculture technology is required. Instruction in the handling of fish and hygiene requirements at the retail outlets is also necessary allowing GEF to set a standard.

(iv) Supplier of fishing gear and services. As previously stated GEF should adapt to the changing conditions in the economy becoming a supplier of goods and services to the fishing communities. GEF should take responsibility for the import and wholesale of artisanal fishing gear on a national basis. In association with the Ports Authorities, GEF should develop commercially viable projects to provide basic services to the artisanal fishermen. GEF should take responsibility for the overall management of such service projects and any wholesale fish markets developed at the fishing harbours.

(v) Fish feeds and fingerling supply. In association with the aquaculture industry GEF should participate in any project to manufacture fish feeds of a suitable standard. In consultation with DOF and the private producers, an annual plan for the supply of quality fingerlings should be drawn up.


 Approaches to Practical Fisheries Management


M. K. Kelleher

(FAO Consultant)

Improvement of the legal Framework for Fisheries Cooperation, Management and Development of Coastal States of West Africa (GCP/RAF/302/EEC)

Round Table on management and Regulation of Fisheries

in the area of competence of the Sub-regional Fisheries Commission

(Dakar, Senegal. 1-3 July 1996)






1. Introduction
2. The fishery as a system
2.1. Defining the black sac, or the boundaries of a fishery
2.2. Some important characteristics of a fishery
2.2.1. The fish resource as property
2.2.2. Growth of an open access common property fishery.
2.2.3. Uncertainty and complexity.
2.2.4. Cycles.
2.2.5. Overfishing.
3. Approaches to fisheries management
3.1. Fisheries management and fisheries administration.
3.2. Plans, objectives and models
3.2.1. Management plans.
3.2.2. Objectives and goals.
3.2.3. The management model
3.3. Management modes.
3.3.1. Dealing with reactive management
3.3.2. The precautionary approach to fisheries management
3.4. Management measures
3.4.1. Types of measures
3.4.2. Working with TACs
3.4.3. Evaluating management regimes
3.5. Cycles and stability
3.5.1. Timing and timescales.
3.5.2. Prioritising objectives
3.5.3. Interest groups and approval of the management measures
3.5.4. Dividing responsibilities
3.5.5. Managing uncertainty.
3.5.6. Coping with threats to the management plan
4. Multispecies fisheries
4.1.1. General characteristics
4.1.2. The basis for management models
4.1.3. Management practices
5. Multinational fisheries
5.1. Fishing by foreign vessels
5.1.1. Foreign and national vessels
5.1.2. Access agreements
5.1.3. Integration of foreign fishing activities into national fleets
5.2. Managing multinational fisheries
5.2.1. Management measures in the sub-region
5.2.2. The allocation problem
6. Concluding remarks



This paper is a discussion document targeted at the fisheries manager who is in the position of preparing advice to fishery ministers, to management boards, to national fisheries councils, or fisheries policy forming bodies; and who may participate in technical committees at the international level. It is not a learned treatise on fisheries management, but a compilation of some basic and useful concepts presented in a form to assist fisheries decision makers. The ideas are based on both biological and economic approaches to fisheries management, coupled with an appreciation of the conflicting objectives of interest groups and shaped by practical experience of fisheries management and development.

The term ‘fisheries manager’ is used loosely to refer both to the individual and the institution responsible for fisheries management advice and control. The term ‘industry’ is used loosely in a broad sense to refer both to industrial and artisanal fisheries.

The paper acknowledges the administrative and political constraints of fisheries managers; recognises the need for retaining an overview of fisheries in the national economy, combined with a need for a tight focus of management effort in situations where knowledge and analysis of the fishery are deficient; where resources for fishery control are limited; and where competing interest groups pressure for increases in fishing effort.

The fisheries manager’s vision and understanding of the fishery will determine the nature of the management recommendations. This understanding can be termed the manager’s model of the fishery. The model may be a sophisticated computerised bioeconomic model, a written description of the fishery, or simply the manager’s (or management committee’s) view of the fishery. The purpose of this paper is to assist the manager in clarifying his vision or model of the fishery, and to offer a range of ideas, concepts and viewpoints from which management measures may be selected or evaluated.

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