Mozambique mainly makes imports of vehicles, medications, metal products (aluminum), fuel, foodstuffs (fish, rice, wheat), machinery and equipment, electrical energy, boats, hydrocarbons, cement, and also chemicals. The country’s main import partners include countries like China, India, South Africa, France, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, and Japan.
Mozambique, on the other hand, mainly exports sugar, natural resources (electrical energy, titanium, gemstones, hydrocarbons, aluminum, coke, and coal) and tobacco. The country`s major buyers are China, India, Italy, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
Additionally, Mozambique having numerous rivers and lakes that inhabit many crustaceans, the country also mostly exports different kinds of seafood. The main seafood exports in Mozambique are the prawns and shrimp.
The country provides high quality and delicious shrimp and prawns to both its citizens and to international markets. A lot of Mozambique`s artisan fishermen provide the shrimp and prawns needed for sale. Their catches also put food on their tables and help to sustain themselves.
The European Union buys a large chunk of Mozambique`s shrimp and prawns. Most of the exports make their way to Spain and Portugal markets. Exporters transport their Catches in fresh, chilled, and frozen forms. The chilled and frozen forms help extend the shelf life of the seafood.
Mozambique`s Octopus Export
Despite shrimp and prawns being the main seafood exports in Mozambique, the country also exports octopuses to Europe. The Mozambique octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusk of the order Octopoda. The people of Mozambique capture octopuses for food and farming purposes. The octopuses have a lifespan of 3-5 years, and this is when they get to the maturity stage for harvesting in farms.
Mozambique has a vast Indian Ocean stretch that is beneficial to the country when it comes to octopus farming. The octopuses, mainly the deep-sea finned octopus and the finless shallow-water octopus species, get captured for food and farming along the ocean shores.
Most Octopuses are easy to find since they usually are near the water surface, in rock cracks, reefs, and shells where they find food. Mostly octopuses feed on snails, crabs, small fish, worms, and other little creatures.
Generally, the average octopus captured or found may weigh 1 Kg or a little over 5 Kgs. Octopuses caught provide a good source of protein for locals and buyers in international markets. Most locals in Mozambique enjoy the sea creature roasted or when deep-fried.
When captured octopuses ger ready for harvesting on farms in Mozambique, packing is done in vacuum poly bags of various weights, e.g., 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, and 10kgs. Some sellers deep fry the octopuses then pack them in smaller cartoon boxes up to 500grams for export. The deep-frying adds value to the sea creatures, and packagers label packs accordingly.
The Octopus Heist
Europe imports Mozambique octopuses worth a total of 250 million Euros annually. With the realization of this tremendous and lucrative market available, some people may want to take advantage of it. Some of these individuals obtain licenses through corruption and even go to the extent of stealing foodstuffs of those who work seriously. Such a scenario was seen on Monday, 16th March 2020.
Mozambique authorities seized a container of stolen octopuses on Monday at the port of Angoche in the Northern Province of Nampula. The thieves involved had stolen the frozen seafood recovered from a company Mariscos do Indico. Mozambique authorities recovered almost 20 tonnes of the stolen octopuses valued at $76,000. The seafood was set to be smuggled out of the country for export using forged documents.
The Mozambique customs authority and the police received details of the smuggling container, including the name of the ship and its seal number from the managers of Mariscos do Indico. With this information, the authorities seized the stolen shipment and prevented the smuggler’s container from loading the container onto a waiting vessel.