BIOFISH-QoL – Integrative approach to enhance the quality of live in fishing communities of the Bons Sinais estuary (Mozambique)


Francisco Leitão

CESAM Responsible researcher

Cristina B. Pita


Protocolo de Cooperação Científica e Tecnológica entre o Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (MCTES) e o Imamat Ismaili


01/07/2018 - 30/12/2022

Funding for CESAM

8120 € €

Funding Entity

FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia; AKDN - Aga Khan Development Network

Proponent Institution

Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR) , UAlg

Participating Institutions

  • Universidade de Aveiro
  • Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira (IIP), Moçambique


The Bons Sinais (BS) estuary sustains an important artisanal fishery (targeting fish and invertebrates) providing an important source of animal protein, employment, revenue etc. to many fishing villages. However, none of the exploited resources (excluding some shrimps) have effective management plans putting most species at risk of overexploitation and affecting the livelihood of fishing villages. This collaborative project aims to enhance the knowledge in biology, ecology and socio-economic aspects of fisheries in BS estuary: an integrative approach for improved fisheries management and live quality is development (quality of life assessment). The project incorporates the following main objectives: Environmental description of the area, inventory of fishery diversity, the study of key-species’ biology, population dynamics and recruitment of species with socio-economic interest, fishing pressure risk assessment (characterization of fishing gear and fishing effort), socioeconomic importance of the fishing activity, capacity building and definition of management strategies for regional subsistence/artisanal fisheries. The inventory of fishery diversity will be done through experimental fishing along estuary channel and mangrove habitats and the characterization of fishing community’s landings. Biology of key species (based on fishermen interviews) will be studied (e.g. determine minimum landing size, spawning and breeding season). Data on quantities caught and fishing seasonality may be obtained by experimental, commercial and interviews with fishermen and based on historical official data (little is available). A Socio-economic characterization of fishing communities and assessment of the value-chain of exploitated fisheries resources will be done, e.g. commercial circuit, level of dependence of fishing villages on fisheries. Capacity building will be done through workshops and seminars. These will be organized to do Environmental education oriented to community leaders, artisanal/subsistence fishing, and students (an opportunity to share with them data about the state of the estuarine ecosystem and fishery resources, and discuss measures necessary for sustainable exploitation of estuary resources that are the subsistent base of many communities). It is expected that the project will achieve the following results: a list of fishery species exploited including fish, crabs, gastropods, shrimps, bivalves and other invertebrates; list of gears used by the artisanal fishery activity, map showing main fishing locations; a description of the biology and ecology of species with economic interest. Moreover, environmental and socioeconomic assessments will be used to provide guidelines for sustainable fisheries in an area where no regulation exists. Therefore, applied technical-scientific knowledge can be converted to provide guidelines for improved quality of life (QoL). We believe that all information obtained at this multidisciplinary level can guide to pragmatic methodological choices to inform the development of intervention in real-life contexts.