República de Moçambique
Ministério do Mar, Águas Interiores e Pescas



In the context of the Portuguese colonial regime’s economic policy, Mozambique was reserved the role of consumer of fish surpluses from Portugal, Angola and South Africa.

The absence of a fisheries management and promotion body was one important component of the strategy to preserve that objective.

The port captain’s office performed the administration, management, planning and inspection functions for the artisanal fisheries. It was just in 60s that a small group of Portuguese small-scale ship owners was authorised to operate their fishing boats for line fishing, operating from Maputo, Inhambane and Beira.


The prohibition of trawling gear was lifted towards the end of the decade, following which a small number of shrimp licenses was issued to a number of Portuguese investors. The conversion of a few fishing boats from Beira as shrimp trawlers was also authorised.


The opening of this fishery did not collide with the aforementioned strategy, as the shrimp was intended for export and the by-catch was discarded overboard.

In this state of affairs there was no “market” as such where fish processing technologies could be used. Shrimp industrial producers were the exception, but processing they made took place on board.


The MEBPM – Mission of Bio-oceanographic and Fisheries Research of Mozambique (Missão de Estudos Bioceanológicos e de Pescas de Moçambique) was also established in the 60s. Sitting under the Ministry of Overseas, it had the mandate for fisheries research.

In 1972, when the MEBPM was transferred to the facilities presently occupied by the School of Fisheries in Matola, Professor Martins Mendes was appointed as Director. Before that, he was the head of a “feed department” in the Faculty of Veterinary Science.

By the time of his appointment he had already started an important work on the full utilisation of sharks, a fact that contributed to the creation of the Fisheries Technology Laboratory within MEBPM, based on which he pursued his objectives.


At 1973 FACIM (the Maputo Trade Fair), the professor exhibited some of his products from the study, namely:

  • Tanned shark hide and some manufactured objects – wallets, belts, shoes
  • Shark liver oil
  • Fins
  • Jaw bones
  • “Codfish” cakes
  • Fresh fillets
  • Salt-dried “codfish” tranches


The professor’s inclination resulted in the institutionalisation of Fish Technology, by 1972.

The first fisheries sector management body was established in January 1976 – DNP, the National Directorate of Fisheries, under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Based on the inherited MEBPM, one of the 3 executive services was constituted – the Fisheries Research Service (SIP). Management of this institution was taken over in accumulation by the then recently-appointed national Director of Fisheries, Dr. Sérgio Basulto del Campo, a Chilean citizen of acknowledged competence and internationalist spirit.

None of the 7 Mozambican biologists working there at the time was bound to the Fish Technology Laboratory and their functions were ceased.

In the second half of the 70s, SIP prioritised shrimp fisheries and resource exploration based on survey cruises sponsored by Norway, FAO, GDR and USSR

The first State Secretary of Fisheries – Mr. Smart Edward Katawala – is appointed in 1979, but DNP was not extinguished.

As a result of the training of young DNP cadres and the sector’s evolution, by the end of the half-decade mentioned above gaps in vital functions for the promotion of fisheries development had been identified, namely fish technology, fisheries technology and aquaculture.

In view of the institutional framework, SIP was extinguished and IDP – the Institute for Fisheries Development – was created.

In the process of recruitment of technical assistance in the scope of co-operation, and in order to configure the various portfolios, the recently-created DTP – Department of Fish Technology, within IDP – was the most favoured by the allocation of qualified technicians with a remarkable integration capacity. Of these we highlight the Dutch Hans Pelgrom, the Danish Jorgen Jensen, G. Mocking, and the Brazilian Ko Watanabe, with Ms Luísa Arthur and Ms Helena Motta as counterparts, among others.

Among many other activities, mostly related with artisanal fisheries and some of which framed within the so-called SPP (Popular Fisheries Service), we should highlight its role in the establishment of the canning factory in downtown Maputo and of the fish processing plant in Machava, equipped with a mechanical dryer and the necessary conditions to process salt-dried shark. Also worthy of highlight is the assistance provided to the Combinados Pesqueiros.

In 1980, Dr. Joaquim Tenreiro de Almeida was appointed. He led the process of establishing the State Secretary of Fisheries.

In 1984, IDP organised the 1st National Research Meeting, a highly successful event, for which world-renowned experts greatly contributed, notably the scientists Gunnar Saetersdal and Emygdio Cadima.

Following the presentation of reports, this meeting constituted a unique reflexion opportunity.

Having found some signs of overfishing, or at least of reaching such threshold, in various artisanal, semi-industrial and industrial fisheries, such as was the case of kelee shad, shrimp, lobster, scad and mackerel, it was deliberated, besides the adoption of some technical measures, that the institution should shift its focus to monitoring the various fisheries, which eventually resulted in the creation of the Fisheries Research Institute (IIP).

In this process, fisheries technicians, led by the Japanese technician Mihara, were transferred to UDPPE (Small-Scale Fisheries Unit); the aquaculture department was kept in IIP for lack of better alternatives; some DTP technicians were transferred to Emopesca Holding and others to SEP. Subsequently, the Department of Fish Inspection (DIP) was created under the National Directorate of Fisheries Administration (DNAP).

Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, created in 1994, DIP maintained its status albeit under the National Directorate of Fisheries, which had been created in the context of the new organisational structure adopted by MAP.

In light of the requisite to maintain the level of revenue in hard currency, it became necessary to develop a fisheries inspection function in order to meet the increasing demands of Europe, whose market absorbs much of the shrimp and, to a lesser extent, other products.

So, following the creation of the Ministry of Fisheries (MF) in 2000 under the leadership of Mr
Cadmiel Mutemba, and as a result of its organisational structure, the DIP was granted the status of central department, which gave it greater negotiation powers with the EU and higher intervention capability within the industry.

Meanwhile, if on the one hand the requirements of Europe kept a certain pace of evolution, on the other DIP is increasingly requested to intervene in the quality process of products for domestic consumption, as well as on the regulation of the various authorities – Veterinarian and Health services, Navy, Municipalities, etc. – by co-ordinating their activities at the provincial and central levels.

Under the proposal of Public Sector Reform, and realising the complexity of the function and the capacity required to ensure its performance based on the revenue from regulatory fees, it became evident that it was necessary to create an autonomous institution with the appropriate mandate to face the challenges brought about by development – particularly those challenges subsequently mirrored in the Strategic Plan for the Artisanal Fisheries Sub-sector (PESPA) and those related to the maintenance of Mozambique in the EU list 1.

Thus, on June 24, 2005, Decree 18/2005 created the National Institute of Fish Inspection (INIP), a public institution under the Ministry of Fisheries endowed with administrative autonomy.

In short, the mandate of INIP is to:

  • Issue health licences to ships and land-based fish handling facilities, and to means of transport of fisheries and aquaculture products;
  • Issue health certificates to fisheries and aquaculture products;
  • Make laboratory tests to fisheries and aquaculture products.


In order to fulfil its role and mandate, INIP prioritised regulation of the sector and, consequently, as issued the following pieces of legislation:

  • Decree no. 17/2001, of June 12 – Regulations on Inspection and Quality Assurance of Fisheries Products;
  • Order of June 2, 2004 – Establishes the fees to be paid for the provision of Health Certification and Licensing Services, and Laboratory Tests;
  • Service Order No. 1/GMP/06 – Approves the National Plan for the Control of Residues (PNCR);
  • Ministerial Diploma no. 93/2007, of July 25 – Approves the Procedures for the Issuance of Health Permits to Ships of related operations, Semi-industrial freezer and ice ships;
  • Ministerial Diploma no. 94/2007, of July 25 – Approves the Procedures for the Issuance of Health Permits for the Operation and Verification of Fisheries and Aquaculture Product Facilities;
  • Procedures for Health Certification of Fisheries and Aquaculture Products.
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