As a small island state, the Comoros’ economy is highly dependent on the ocean. In 2015, the Comoros’ annual economic output from the ocean was valued at US$ 0.2 Billion, or 18% of the Comoros’ GDP of US$ 0.7 Billion. Fisheries contribute about 30% to the ocean economy.
The coastal population depends heavily on fishing for income and food security. Coastal communities extract fish, octopus, shrimps, shells and oysters for consumption; sand for construction; and corals.
The ocean economy industries are basic, and the local fisheries target pelagic and reef species. Fishers use a range of techniques, primarily using nets for reef species and hook-and-line methods for pelagic species (especially tuna).
Comoros’ EEZ is estimated to be 100 times larger than its land area, emphasizing the critical role it could play in national growth and sustainability.
Fisheries and Aquaculture: Comoros’ fisheries sector is mainly composed of tuna and tunalike species. Its annual catch is estimated at 33,000 MT/year. Domestic fishery production in Comoros has been reported as approximately 20,000 MT/year in several reports over the last decade. Large pelagic sharks, in significant quantities, are also found in the Comorian EEZ.
Ports and harbors in Comoros play a vital role in transportation of goods and passengers between the islands and the rest of the World. The Mutsamudu harbor on Anjouan is Comoros’ only deep-water port welcoming large vessels.
Oil, gas and energy: There is very little activity in oil, gas and biofuels in Comoros, as the country has no proven oil and gas reserves. However, exploration is beginning in the western portion of its EEZ, in the Mozambique Channel.. Comoros is also assessing solar and wind sites.
Coastal Tourism: Comoros’ beautiful natural environment means it has the potential to become a prime tourism destination. Its natural heritage is characterized by white sand beaches, turquoise seas and exceptional conservation areas. Comoros also has a rich history and strong identity, with deeply rooted traditions and specific social structures. In addition, the population has a natural sense of hospitality. The coastline is fringed with world-class coral reefs, magnificent lagoons and white sand beaches, especially the three northernmost beaches at Le Galawa and Maloudja. There is potential for scuba, snorkeling, reef and wreck diving, deep-sea fishing and all types of water sports.
However, despite Comoros’ strong tourism assets, it currently has a low number of tourist arrivals. A report by World Bank indicated that the Comoros tourism policies and infrastructure in 2013 were not yet adequate.