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Eyes on the Horizon

Welcome to the Marine Conservation in Mozambique - December Edition.  If you are not already on our mailing list please subscribe here. You can also help by forwarding this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in helping us with the conservation of marine life in Mozambique.  If you have any stories you'd like featured in 2013's first newsletter then please email us! Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Local fishermen in Primeiras and Segundas.

Mozambique creates Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve.
Last month brought the fantastic news that the Government of Mozambique has created the largest marine protected area in Africa, covering over 4020 square miles of the coastline. Located in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago between the Nampula and Zambezia Provinces, this area is home to five of the world’s seven sea turtle species and is a key breeding site for dugongs, seabirds and marine turtles. It is also said to house the most robust and diverse coral community in Mozambique. 
Read the full article here
SOURCE: WWF

 

Fish farming

Mozambique provides loans to artisanal fishermen.
Over 200 aquaculture and artisanal fishing projects in seven Mozambican provinces will start receiving loans next year for the production, preservation, processing, transport, and sale of fish. The loans are part of a programme to improve the living conditions of fishing communities.
Read the full article here
SOURCE: Club of Mozambique

Green turtle

The Researcher's Corner: Jess Williams

Working in the Inhambane province, Jess Williams has designed a project to collect a wide array of information on both sea turtles and their threats, particularly illegal poaching, in order to propose practical conservation, management and alternative livelihood solutions for those relying on poaching. She aims to identify the drivers behind why fishermen have converted to sea turtle fishing in recent years and reverse this trend. For more information follow Jess on www.mozturtles.com.


Mantas caught in nets

Gill nets cause chaos in Zavora.

Four manta rays, one smalleye stingray, one hawksbill turtle and a number of devil rays were caught in gill nets in Zavora over just two days in November.  Despite fishermen being receptive to releasing the mantas, they were only willing to do so if they didn’t have to cut their nets. After a first unsuccessful attempt by divers to free the animals, the nets were pulled from the water where it became apparent that the manta rays were too tangled, hurt and tired to be rescued. A group from Zavora Marine Lab were only able to save a small devil ray and the hawksbill turtle.  Maritime later went to the area and confiscated all illegal fishing nets, and  Zavora Marine Lab are hoping to do some educational work with the fishermen. According to locals in the area, around three to four devil rays are caught on a daily basis in this location. 
Read the full article here
SOURCE: ACCM - Zavora Marine Lab



Shark finning loophole closed

Shark finning loophole closed in the EU.

November saw conservation groups celebrating the European Parliaments vote to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning and impose a prohibition on removing shark fins at sea. The EU banned finning in 2003, but the associated regulation included loopholes that allowed shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies which hampered enforcement. Ali Hood, Shark Trust Director of Conservation said, “Because of the EU’s influence at international fisheries bodies, this action holds great promise for combating this wasteful practice on a global scale.”
Read the full article here
SOURCE: Project Aware

Fishery

Illegal fishing costs Mozambique over 1 billion meticals per year.
The Mozambique state loses annual revenues of over 1 billion meticals (34 million US dollars) due to illegal fishing practices according to Manuel Castiano, the National Director of Fisheries Inspection. Africa as a whole is thought to be loosing over 1 billion US dollars per year.
Mr Castiano estimates that around 2,000 tonnes of fisheries produce is taken from Mozambican waters by illegal fishing vessels annually, which is preventing the fisheries sector from increasing its contribution to Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product above 3%.

Read the full article here
SOURCE: Club of Mozambique

Whale Shark

Whale shark falls victim to gill nets at Coconut Bay.

Following a report from microlight pilot Janneman Conradie that he had spotted a whale shark carcass at Coconut Bay, a representative from EOTH was deployed to  investigate the situation. After interviewing the local fishermen it became apparent that the animal had unsuspectingly swum into one of several gill nets along this stretch of coastline, became entangled and - despite the fishermens efforts to save their nets and release the shark - eventually the animal died and was dragged to the shore and cut up for meat.
Interestingly, the EOTH team found both pectoral fins on the beach indicating that this animal was not targeted for the shark fin trade. Still, this is worrying for their conservation given the steep decline in sightings over the past seven years in the area which is thought to be at least partly attributable to unsustainable fishing.
The crew in the microlight reported that the biggest concentration of nets on their transect along the Inhambane coastline was seen at Coconut Bay with around 10 nets counted from the air. In addition to the whale shark, several other species of shark had also been caught.
SOURCE: Eyes on the Horizon.

Many Eyes, One Vision: Protecting Planet Ocean


Eyes on the Horizon: Intelligence Reports
Eyes on the Horizon is a non-governmental and non-profit association. We are a platform with the mission of creating a network between people who spend their days on the ocean, the Mozambican government, the media, operators, stakeholders and all parts of the private sector. The goal of Eyes of the Horizon is to collect and spread information about what is illegally happening in and around the Mozambican coast line and on the beautiful Mozambican waters. To create pressure through words and start action is our aim. Eyes on the Horizon has been formed to "crowdsource" conservation: you report what's going on along the coast, and we can pass it on to the government authorities tasked with protecting Mozambique's amazing marine environment. You can help by sending updates or photos (in complete anonymity if desired) by just replying to this email. Thank you.

Eyes on the Horizon: Maputo
We received a report last week that the Sogecoa Apart Hotel in Maputo has listed shark fin soup on their menu. We would urge our subscribers to complain to the management at this restaurant and urge them to remove this from their menu. We also suggest you do not support this restaurant until it has been removed from the menu. Please continue to
 inform us of any other restaurants along the coast that are selling shark fin soup.

Shark Fin Soup 

Eyes on the Horizon: Zavora
In addition to the extensive fishing activity in Zavora, turtle poaching is also a concern. One of the first nests this season was poached just 24 hours after it was laid. Eyes on the Horizon are keen to hear of any turtle nesting activity in your area. Contribution: ACCM Zavora Marine Lab

Eyes on the Horizon: Vilankulos
Unfortunately, Odyssea Dive Centre continued to see large volumes of rays caught just outside their dive centre last month. Over 60 cownose rays were pulled up on the beach on one day, alongside a large stingray and a guitar shark. Cownose rays are globally threatened with extinction. Their IUCN classification is Vulnerable, the same level of threat as dugongs, manta rays and whale sharks. The dive centre also received reports of two guitar sharks being caught by fishermen further north and a second large catch of cownose rays.
Contribution: Odyssea Dive Centre



Bull ray catch
Photo credit: Sabrina, Odyssea Dive Centre

Eyes on the Horizon: Seahorses
We have been receiving reports of an increasing trade in seahorses along the coast. These animals are caught and sold for as little as 2mtz each. We are very keen to hear further information on this so if you do have any information on seahorse catches in your area then please email us.
  
On the bright side:

Eyes on the Horizon: Maputo

Gary Allport of BirdLife joined a sport fishing trip from Maputo to the shelf area east of Inhaca Island earlier this month and spotted around 395 birds on a five hour trip, alongside a number of shoals of tuna, 30 humpback whales and 2 Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin.  The main bird interest was a number of terns feeding over groups of bait fishes along the shelf and a group of 4 albatrosses just off the Inhaca light, two of which were aged as first year birds in fresh plumage. 
Contribution: BirdLife

Shy Albatross
Photo credit: Gary Allport

Eyes on the Horizon: Tofo
Researchers at the Marine Megafauna Foundation identified three new manta rays this month, bringing the total number of manta’s added to their database to 900! Meanwhile, the first recorded journey of a whale shark travelling from Tofo to Tanzania was made last month by Jackson, the 6m male.
Contribution: Marine Megafauna Foundation

Eyes on the Horizon: Ponta do Ouro

As the humpback season draws to a close, a preliminary count of opportunistic land based sightings of humpback whales was close to 230. Both turtle nesting and dolphin calving are well under way in the area, with 31 turtle nesting tracks being recorded thus far by local turtle monitors. Ocean users are requested to drive cautiously and follow the Dolphin Care Code. The latest DolphinCareAfrica report can be found here.
Contribution: DolphinCareAfrica

Photo credit: Angie Gullan

All the best for the next month,

The Eyes on the Horizon Team. 

SAB Miller
CDM
LM Radio
DHL
 Thanks to the companies that are supporting marine conservation in Mozambique!

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