Towards end of 2006, Mozambique contacted the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the services of "Dr. Fridtjof Nansen" to survey the marine ecosystem of Mozambique under the new FAO programme “Strengthening the Knowledge Base for and Implementing an Ecosystem Approach to Marine Fisheries in Developing Countries”, for convenience often called the Nansen EAF Programme. "Dr Fridtjof Nansen", operated by Institute of Marine Research (IMR), is the main platform for collecting information on the state of the ecosystem in partner countries. Under the new programme, the partners also now have to cover for about 40% of the operation costs, the remaining part is covered by Norway. Mozambique was allocated 86 survey days in the period 26 September–21 December.
Mapping and offshore studies
Following several planning sessions, the agreed work will start with a main coverage on the Mozambique shelf between 20 and 1000 m, mapping the fish resources, marine environment and plankton and sediment fauna for about 45 days. This will be followed up by several focused studies in areas of special interest like marine parks, coral reefs, offshore seamounts and oil exploration areas.
In the latter, the results will be used to set up a pollution monitoring plan before the actual drilling starts soon. By this Mozambique will have a pristine baseline as reference for later comparisons.
Hands-on training gives scientists and technicians experience with marine fieldwork and research methodologies.