NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF 6: Climate Friendly Cold Storage for Artisanal Fisheries in Mozambique

Photo: Rare
The Project will develop and pilot a cost-effective and climate-friendly cold storage solution for coastal fisheries in Mozambique to improve local livelihoods.

Climate-Friendly Cold Storage for Artisanal Fisheries in Mozambique
Ref: NDF C83

Nordic Partner: Ocean Excellence Ehf.

Local Partner: The National Development Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ministério do Mar Aguas Interiores e Pesca, IDEPA)
Other Local Partner: Rare, Inc.
Total Project Cost: EUR 625,071
NCF Financing: EUR 500,000
Agreement Signed: 14 June 2017
Project type: Adaptation
Duration: 30 months

Project objective
The Project will develop and pilot a cost-effective and sustainable cold storage solution for coastal fisheries in Mozambique to address the issue of spoilage and reduce waste of fish. An essential objective is to prove that an innovative, renewable energy-based technology, which increases fish catch value without increasing catch, will improve income levels within artisanal fishing communities. It will also support ongoing efforts to improve fisheries management and create social resilience, which helps to restore ecological health in critical coastal areas and can increase ecological resilience to climate change.
Main results/outputs
The Micro Super Chilling System (MSCS) is an important development in improving the "shelf life" of fish and fish products, especially where access to cold storage or ice production is limited or non-existent. At select sites under improved fisheries management, the Project will pilot the use of the MSCS solutions, which utilize water with high salinity level (brine) in order to reduce temperatures to levels where flesh deterioration almost halts, thereby eliminating the need for the energy-consuming processes of producing ice. The Project will prototype this methodology and analyse how to make it affordable, producible, and widely available in the Mozambican context.

The Project outputs will be:

1. Complete prototype testing in laboratory and field settings.
2. Demonstrate quantitatively that the MSCS system is advantageous for a variety of fisheries and for various points along different value chains.
3. Demonstrate that fishing communities (three pilots) can purchase, deploy and maintain the MSCS system while increasing value of the fish catch.
4. Demonstrate that product can influence community-based management and increase capacity for climate change adaptation (social resilience).

5. Based on the findings from this Project, develop an evidence-based plan to take the product to scale.
6. Final report and dissemination of findings and recommendations.

For many Mozambicans, fishing is the primary source of job and food security. Nearly half million Mozambican people rely on small-scale fishing for employment, and small-scale fishers account for more than 85 percent of the country's annual catch. Fish is also fundamentally important as food for Mozambicans: the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the Mozambican population derives a full half of its animal protein intake from fish and fisheries products.


Yet these small-scale fisheries are on the decline, stretched to their limits by overfishing and other external stressors, such as climate variability. Fishers struggle to keep up with rising demand for fish and perpetually decreasing fish stocks. With the support of the NDF, Rare has been working together with the Mozambican government since 2016 to help local fisher communities embrace sustainable fishing practices which enable the growth of sustainable livelihoods.

Climate-Friendly Cold Storage for Artisanal Fisheries in Mozambique extends this important work by piloting a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable cold storage technology to improve income opportunities along the value chain for local fishers. The Project aims to reduce waste from spoilage and improve the product value without increasing catch.

The Project is a public-private partnership between the Mozambican National Institute for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture (IDEPA), a government agency within the Ministry of the Sea, Inland Waters, and Fisheries; Ocean Excellence, a private business based in Iceland; and Rare, Inc., an international NGO based in the United States specializing in behavioural change and small-scale fisheries. Through the partnership with IDEPA, the Project supports alignment and implementation of government policies on climate change, decentralization and fisheries, and there is potential for scaling up along the Mozambique coastline.

Relevance for climate change

The expected Project impacts relative to climate change adaptation are as follows (in step-wise fashion):

a) Increased value for consistent levels of fish catch through reduction of waste by spoilage along the value chain to market.
b) Improved livelihoods and a reduction of fishing pressure in the territorial user rights fisheries (TURFs) and elimination of fishing pressure in reserves.
c) Ecosystem recovery and increased spill-over from reserves to adjacent community-managed and protected fishing grounds.
d) Achievements in management and behavioural adoption of new cold storage techniques that will motivate and encourage community solidarity and help build a constituency.
e) The continuation and improvement of co-management systems, such that communities will be better prepared for climate change adaptation (social/economic resilience).
f) Success of the co-management system in creating TURF-reserves that can restore critical ecosystem zones.
g) Ecological resilience to climate change (e.g., buffering against storm and cyclone coastal erosion and dampening storm surges in general).

Innovation aspects
The Project is innovative on several fronts. First, it prototypes a product that will bring cold storage to areas in Mozambique that have not previously had access to ice, and thus has the potential to substantially increase catch value and efficiency by reducing spoilage across a wide range of fisheries and habitats. In many areas that lack ice, we estimate that as much as a quarter of the catch is discarded due to spoilage, with even more of the catch having a decreased value, since it is not adequately preserved.

Second, the unit will be designed and prototyped so that all materials in its construction can be obtained locally in Mozambican (or nearby South African) markets. This further increases its feasibility and creates enabling conditions for scale. The objective is to develop a unit that will cost around 1,600 Euros, so this is an innovation that is economically feasible.

Third, the product is also innovative in that it is climate-friendly. It can be operated on solar or wind power rather than electricity produced from a commercial grid or from local generators.

Fourth, the Project combines a new sustainable fisheries management system that gives local Mozambican fishing communities a greater stake in the long-term health of fish stocks with an energy-efficient cold storage solution that will enable fishers to add more value to their production. This innovative combination of interventions will provide economic benefits and will ultimately improve climate change adaptation through social and ecological resilience.

More information
Ocean Excellence
The National Development Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture