Sofala Bank Artisanal Fisheries Project (PPABAS)
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Sofala Bank Artisanal Fisheries Project
The continental shelf known as the Sofala Bank lies off the coast of Mozambique and stretches 950 km from the waters off Sofala and Zambezia province and halfway up Nampula province in the north. The project is focused on the narrow strip of coast facing the Sofala bank, as well as its fishing waters. At present Nampula, Sofala and Zambezia, the three provinces within the project area, account for a large share of the poor households in the country. However fishing resources in these areas are extremely rich, including important shallow-water shrimp fisheries. Although there is little room to expand shrimp catches in the area, there is good potential to increase the catch of high-value fish. Yet fishing communities lack equipment, access to markets and the knowledge and skills to manage their activities in a more fruitful way.
The project's goal is to improve social and economic conditions for poor fishing communities in the project area. Specifically, the project assists fishers in diversifying their fishing techniques in order to increase their catch and their incomes, while at the same time improving processing techniques and linkages with the markets to facilitate the purchase of equipment and inputs and the sale of produce. In addition the project:
- empowers fishing communities to manage development initiatives, including social infrastructure such as health posts and schools
- improves access to fish resources for poor fishing communities
- makes financial services available to fishing communities
- helps develop a legislative and policy framework in support of poor fishing communities and their livelihoods
- introduces improvements in market-related infrastructure, such as rehabilitation of roads and fish-markets, that will help stimulate local economies
The project also ensures that fish resources are closely monitored, that communities are trained in the sustainable use of natural resources and that regulatory measures are established and enforced at national and community levels.