By Candida Sete, Clousa Maueua, Ana Maria Alfredo.
National Institute for Hydrography and Navigation (INAHINA).
The study was motivated by the understanding that accidents with artisanal fisherman are common along the cost of Mozambique, despite the availability of the forecast information that would be combined with the traditional knowledge of the fisherman on sea state. That led to question the effectiveness of the weather forecast and of the forecast information dissemination for localized needs as for artisanal fishermen. The study took place in Zambézia Province, and the artisanal fishery centre in the Zalala Beach, was chosen for a demonstration site.
The Mozambique School of Marine and Coastal Sciences conducted a research on ocean forecast for artisanal fisheries on scope of ODINAFRICA IV. The study, titled Developing a system for ocean weather forecasting for coastal areas to support artisanal fisheries and coastal tourism activities, aimed at evaluating the current weather forecast services in Mozambique to the artisanal fisheries activities and thereafter propose an improved forecast services.
Using a comparative methodology, fisheries activities realised under forecast information from the national legal institution - the National Institute for Meteorology (INAM) -, disseminated through radio and television, and also data from the Global Weather Forecast available on the webpage www.passageweather.com were monitored to determine the most important parameters that influences the artisanal activity.
Other parameters such as direct observations of tides and winds compared with tide prediction for the Port of Quelimane, provided in the tide tables produced by the National Institute of Hydrography and Navigation (INAHINA), and with meteorological observations at the Meteorological Station at the Quelimane Airport were considered.
Results point to tides, waves and sea state, winds, and precipitation to be considered as relevant parameters that most influenced the artisanal fisheries. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and visibility seem not to be much relevant in the decision to go fishing or not.
The means in which influencing parameters interfere in fishery activities are also presented in the study. These are resumed, by one side in the disparity between the information provided by the competent authorities and that resulting from direct observation (made by the researcher for period of 10 days) of the crucial parameters for artisanal fishing and that, in fact, used by fisherman, such as weather forecast information got from the Zalala Fishermen Association, and, by the other side, the disseminating method that does not rich the fisherman in the study area embody the problem(s) statement of the research. Thus, a flow chart of the weather forecast information dissemination to the fisherman is proposed, aiming at assuring the effectiveness of the service. According to the study, provincial meteorological centres should consider forecast weather for relevant areas for specific users, and spreading that information through local meteorological station using local radios and in local languages.