domingo, 20 de novembro de 2005

QUIRIMBAS NATIONAL PARK - Argentinian Vessel Causes Environmental Damage.


Agência de Informação de Moçambique -Maputo, November 19, 2005
Posted to the web November 20, 2005
The administrator of the Quirimbas National Park, in northern Mozambique, Cesar Augusto, has accused an Argentinian registered fishing vessel of carrying out damaging and unauthorised activities in a conservation area.
According to a report in Saturday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", the boat is working for the Mozambican company Mozpesca.
It is not actually fishing: indeed it has been anchored for the past two years.
Instead, it is purchasing whatever fish local people bring to it.
Augusto warns that this is encouraging people to use unsustainable fishing methods, which puts huge pressure on fish stocks in the conservation area off the coast of Cabo Delgado province.
"This boat is sabotaging one of the purposes for which the national park was established, which was to stop overfishing", said Augusto.
He claimed that the boat is monopolising purchases of fish in the area - so much so that no fish is left over to supply people living in the district of Quissanga.
The boat is also reported to be buying live crustaceans (crab and prawn), for which an authorisation from the Ministry of Tourism is needed.
Augusto accused the vessel of spilling oil in December 2004, thus polluting the waters of what is supposed to be a protected area.
The Cabo Delgado fisheries administration sent two inspectors to look at the boat last week. Their conclusion was that the boat is not authorised to fish, it is not fishing, and so it is not doing anything illegal.
The park authorities dismiss such arguments as superficial.
They do not see much difference between a boat emptying the waters of fish itself, or paying somebody else to do it.
They regard the vessel as responsible for serious environmental damage.
The Maritime Administration took a slightly more robust position than the fisheries inspectors. It said that it knew the boat should not be anchored in a conservation area, and that it has drawn the crew's attention to this several times.
Apparently to no effect, since it is still there.
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