||We analyse the coupling between sea surface chlorophyll concentration (CC) and the physical environment in the Mozambique Channel (MZC) using statistical models. Seasonal and interannual patterns are studied along with the role of mesoscale dynamics on enhancement and concentration processes for phytoplankton. We use SeaWifs data for CC and two other remotely sensed data sets, TMMI for sea surface temperature (SST) and merged altimetry products for sea level anomaly and geostrophic current. Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) on SSC and SST show strong seasonality and partition the MZC into three distinct sub-areas. The chlorophyll variability is mostly driven by seasonality, but more in the North (10 degrees S-16 degrees S) and South (24 degrees S-30 degrees S), and explains respectively 64% and 82% of the CC variance. In the Central part (16 degrees S-24 degrees S), the seasonal signal has less influence (60% variance). There, complex EOFs on Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) highlight the role of mesoscale activity (i.e. eddies and filament structures) in the spatial distribution of chlorophyll. Five mesoscale descriptors (shear, stretch, vorticity, deformation and eddy kinetic energy) are derived from the altimetry data to quantify the eddies-related physical patterns in the central region of the MZC. We use generalized Additive Models to explain the effect of those features on phytoplankton enhancement. The best model fit (r(2) = 0.73) includes shear, stretch, vorticity and the latitude-longitude interaction as eddies are well structured in space. Cyclonic eddies associated with negative vorticity are conductive to phytoplankton enhancement by the effect of upwelling in the core notably during the spin-up phase. The interaction between eddies generate strong frontal mixing favourable to the production and aggregation of organic matter. The mesoscale activity is also affected by interannual variability with consequences on CC. We highlight a substantial reduction of the SLA pattern in 2000-2001 when the SOI positive phase is peaking (Nina-type pattern). The strong relationship between mesoscale eddies and SOI suggests that primary productivity in the MZC is also under the influence of distant forcing at a basin scale.