National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Mozambique

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Mozambique is located in the South-Eastern part of the African Continent, between latitudes 10°27’S and 26°52’S and longitudes 30º 12’E and 40º 51’E. The country has a total surface area of 784,032 km2 subdivided into 10 provinces. The country possesses the third longest coastline in the Indian Ocean covering a total distance of 2700 km. Total continental shelf area is about 104,300 km2 . The current population is slightly more than 20 million people with a growth rate of 2.5% per annum. Most of the population is concentrated in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane and in central and Northern provinces of Zambézia and Nampula. About 43% of the population resides within the coastal region of the country.

The Mozambique Channel is an important source region for the Agulhas Current which is one of the major western boundary currents flowing along the southeastern coast of South Africa. The Mozambique Channel is also one of the two routes through which the South Equatorial Current feeds the Agulhas Current. Mozambique also has an extensive drainage network that includes about 100 principal river basins and a number of international rivers. The international rivers include the Rovuma, Zambezi, Save, Limpopo and Incomati Rivers. The runoff entering Mozambique through international rivers has decreased over the years due to damming, water abstraction and irrigation in neighbouring countries. There has also been modification of stream flow leading to either freshwater shortage/reduction or excessive runoff in certain periods of the year. The rivers are main sources of sediments and dissolved inorganic nutrients in coastal zones of Mozambique. The Sofala Bank – one of the most productive shelf regions in Mozambique, is influenced by the discharges from Zambezi, Pungué, Buzí and Save rivers. The highest nutrient concentrations occur in the Angoche shelf area in the north, Sofala Bank in central and Delagoa Bight in the southern shelf.

The MEDA is a national contribution to the multinational Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDA) -Strategic Action Programme (SAP) process, and was funded and supported by the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project (which is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme).

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