Faces of Africa – Captain Noa: Guardian of the Sea

Mozambique’s coastline is considered one of the most beautiful Indian Ocean coastlines in Africa that stretches about 2,500 kilometers. The ocean is an admiration to many Mozambicans and particularly Joao Noa Senete, the chief executive of Ematum.

“I was born for the sea. I love the sea. The sea is peace to me,” he told.

Like every Mozambican child, Joao Noa popularly known as Captain Noa grew up fishing and wanting to sail.

In 1992 captain Noa got a government scholarship to pursue marine studies in Russia

In 1992, he got a government scholarship to go to Russia for maritime studies. He focused on four main areas; bridge team management, oil taker management, automatic radar plotting and carriage of dangerous and hazardous substances.

He lived and studied in Russia for ten years. Upon his return to Mozambique, he was appointed captain in charge of twenty ships.

“To be a captain is a big responsibility. You have to take good decisions to save the vessel and to save people,” told Captain Noa.

Captain Noa has remained phenomenal in the maritime industry in Mozambique. During his time, the country was introduced to the VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) that helps monitor and control sailing vessels.

Mozambique’s use of modern technology like VMS has enabled the country to monitor and track sailing vessels in the sea

“VMS is a device fixed in your vessel. This device communicates with the satellite. From the satellite this goes to a monitoring center somewhere so I can see all vessels in our zones in real time,” explained Captain Noa.

VMS has proven successful in that before there were many disputes among the fishermen, both with small and big vessels but with the controlling that comes with the device that has been solved. Those who are caught pay hefty fines.

The country has also merged with neighboring countries like Madagascar and they share maritime intelligence.

Mozambican fisherman. Many Mozambicans rely on fishing. Fish consumption in the country is 19 kgs per person per year

Fishing is a major activity in Mozambique. Mozambicans love fish. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the consumption level per person a year is eighteen kilograms. But Mozambicans have exceeded the limit by a kilogram.

“Two-thirds of Mozambicans are living along the coast and Mozambicans eat fish,” told Captain Noa.

But due to over-fishing, the number of fishes had started dwindling.

Over-fishing in Mozambique has caused dwindling in the number of fish in the sea

Capital Noa decided to curb the situation.

“All our surveillance team is working closely with the navy and the maritime police,” asserted Captain Noa.

Through concerted efforts and use of modern technology, Mozambique has been able to improve on monitoring the vessels coming and going out in different fishing zones and Captain Noa continues to oversee his second home, the sea.