Mozambique tuna fisheries sent 160 boats to sea in 2007, last year fewer than 50 boats engaged in the offshore fishery.
24 new fishing boats, pictured above, paid for by Western loans now lie unused in Mozambique’s capital. They were meant to be part of a modern tuna fleet that would harvest tuna and bring home hard currency and generate jobs.
But the tuna they were to catch simply wasn’t there as Indian Ocean tuna pastures have been collapsing for decades into unproductive blue deserts. If Mozambique, or better its bankers, choose they can immediately, sustainably, all for less than 1% of the cost of the now defaulted tuna fleet loans restore Mozambique’s ocean tuna pastures to historic health and abundance and the fleet into a profitable industry.
The boats, moored in the harbor of Maputo, were paid for out of an $850-million loan arranged in 2013 by Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) and Russia’s VTB (VTBR.MM) to finance “fishing infrastructure”. The cash came in the form of a government-backed bond to state tuna-fishing company Ematum.
Now three years later, the touted tuna fishery initially praised as self-sustaining, unable to find or catch fish is defunct and has contributed to a sovereign foreign debt mountain equal to 80 percent of GDP that could bankrupt the southeast African nation’s government. The new sparkling white tuna boats tied up at docks and rusting have become a stark reminder of predatory lending by Western banks. Their ignoring ocean pasture management basics and instead fishing only for outrageous financial returns has put the nation in peril that is sinking this promising African economy in a deep debt crisis.
“Sorry sir, we don’t have tuna on the menu,” said Raul, a waiter at a restaurant overlooking the dormant fleet. “The boats never go out. They are resting.”
Mozambique shares the same Western Indian Ocean tuna pastures with many neighbouring nations. The Seychelles which is the biggest ‘fish’ in the pond has acknowledged the collapsing tuna pastures as it has called for a 20% reduction in the catch of prized Yellowfin tuna this year. It’s done this because the fish are clearly in troubled waters.
Indian’s main tuna landing port Visakhapatnam has seen a 50% drop in tuna this past year, from 27,000 tonnes in 2014 to 14,000 tonnes in 2015. This catastrophic drop in tuna catch is clear evidence of the collapse of the carrying capacity of Indian Ocean tuna pastures.
Tuna survive and thrive like all pasture animals depending on the condition of the pasture. When the pasture grows no grass few livestock can be harvested. But Indian Ocean tuna pastures like those around the world are in a state of neglect and collapse.
Results published last year on Mozambique’s tuna fishery pointed to the fleet catching just $450,000 of tuna a year, compared with sales of $18 million forecast at that stage of its life in a 2013 feasibility study circulated by the government.
It’s Not Too Late To Restore Mozambique’s Ocean Tuna Pastures And Make The Fleet Profitable
The fate of the “tuna bond” is emblematic of the difficulties facing the country of 26 million, of the shark-like behaviour of Western banks and the debt problem left behind after the bankster middlemen have long since disappeared with their ‘commissions’.
The massive tuna loan was restructured last month in what ratings agency Standard & Poor’s described as “selective default” after the government struggled to make repayments. Sinking the ship of state ever deeper, an additional $1.35 billion of debt then emerged. Most of it was also from Credit Suisse and VTB, according to an International Monetary Fund source.
This provoked a furious response from multilateral lenders and donors who suspended aid because of concerns their cash will be diverted to pay off private creditors.
“Both lenders and borrowers are responsible for ensuring loans are given and used responsibly,” said Tim Jones, a policy officer at the British-based Jubilee Debt Campaign. If this is so how is it possible that in the face of the well-known collapse of ocean tuna pastures in the Indian Ocean were these loans approved.
Credit Suisse and VTB should pay the price to restore the Mozambique tuna pastures and bring the fish back so that these illegitimate loans can be made legitimate and paid back. The cost is likely to be in the range of just 1% of the nearly defaulted loans clearly a tiny fraction of what the amount will be if the loans have to be written off. The bankers can save their loans and the people of Mozambique with the merest wink of an eye.
Ocean Pasture Restoration Will Immediately Return Indian Ocean Tuna Pastures From East to West To Historic Abundance
Today our proven safe, sustainable, low-cost, regenerative technologies and methodologies to restore and revive ocean fish pastures is standing ready to be deployed. Our work involves perfected ‘Ecosystem Service’ methods to prescribe and replenish vital mineral micronutrients that are in ever more diminishing supply due to the consequences of high and rising CO2 levels.
Our fossil fueled CO2 emissions of a trillion tonnes over the past century have dramatically increased and resulted in global greening of dry grasslands around the world. More grass growing means less dust blowing, and it is dust that blows in the wind that delivers vital mineral nutrients to sustain ocean pastures.
In todays high CO2 greening world ocean plant life, the phytoplankton that are the grass of ocean pastures, have been in terrible decline. The worst rate of decline is in the Indian ocean at 2% per year, and this decline has been going on, not unseen but largely unreported for decades.
Time has finally run out on the reserve capacity and resilience of Indian Ocean pastures and they are today rapidly suffering from the drought of dust and becoming ever more blue ocean deserts.
Ocean Pasture restoration will bring back the fish immediately, it’s a proven methodology and technology!
The means to replenish the vital dust has been the subject of a quarter century of international ocean science directed research at a cost of a quarter of a billion dollars. In 2012 the largest ocean restoration project ever to be undertaken was performed (by me) in the NE Pacific Ocean. In dying ocean salmon pastures my single fishing boat load of prescription mineral dust turned that blue desert into a lush ocean pasture for a remarkably low-cost.
The following year in Alaska the expected catch of one of the five species of salmon, the Pink Salmon, was forecast to be 50 million fish. Instead when the Pink Salmon swam into Alaskan fishermen’s nets the catch turned out to be 226 million fish, the largest catch in all of history.
Indian Ocean tuna, all species, can be almost immediately returned and sustained at historic abundance as we choose to become caring stewards of their ocean tuna pastures. IT JUST WORKS!
Join me to help bring back the fish!