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Fishermen and women in Mozambique are being equipped and trained in the art of farming mussels on longlines, as a means to create a stable income for the communities involved in fishing and thereby reduce the pressure on other key marine species in the region.
The project is led by the Community Fishing Board and supported by Maputo Special and Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine reserves in partnership with the National Institute for the Development of Fish and Aquaculture (IDEPA).
The initiative currently involves 15 fishermen – 10 women and 5 men who farm with the Mussels at the Machangulo Peninsula which sits inside Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve.
The cultivation of mussels in longlines consists of attaching the mussel sachets in a structure of ropes suspended by floating buoys and attached to the seabed by concrete blocks. This production system ensures that the mussel is constantly submerged.
In this first phase, about 162 sachets with 2 kilograms of mussel each were installed in 5 long lines, which makes 324 kg in the structure. After 8 months, the mussels are expected to more than double their size, generating an output of 800 kg.
The potential market for the mussel is the local restaurants and resorts in Santa Maria and Ponta do Ouro where the produce could be sold at a price of 300Mt for dry and 500Mt for fresh mussesl per kilogram.
The project is funded by Fondation Ensemble and has the technical, financial and logistical support of Peace Parks Foundation in partnership with the National Administration for Conservation Areas.