WALVIS BAY – The consumption of fish in the country has dramatically increased to such an extent that Namibians last year consumed double the volume consumed in 2011.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, made the revelation last week Wednesday in Walvis Bay.
At the same time the minister also revealed that the total export value of fish increased by about N$700 million between 2011 and 2012 from just over N$5 billion to more than N$5.7 billion.
As for the local consumption of fish, Esau said that the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) between January and September 2011 distributed 1 570 tonnes of fish throughout the country, while during the same period last year it distributed 3 826 tonnes, which is more than double the previous year.
“By September this year the distribution figures already stood at a whopping 5 096 tonnes of fish distributed countrywide. And we can proudly say that Namibians are eating more fish. I would like to request other fishing companies to join us in this noble vision of transforming the Namibian society from being heavy consumers of red meat to a balanced consumer of fish and meat,” Esau said.
According to Esau, the NFCPT played a key role in improving Namibians’ consumption of fish since the establishment of the cabinet-endorsed NFCPT in March 2001.
Overall the main aim of the NFCPT is to promote local consumption of fish, both for its nutritional value and to make the national resource more accessible and affordable to citizens.
The NFCPT now runs 13 shops across the country and uses a mobile shop to reach areas where it does not yet have a permanent presence. The NFCPT benefits from government quotas for horse-mackerel and hake. The head office is based in Walvis Bay.
The horse-mackerel quota is guaranteed by the State. When the quota stock runs out, the Trust buys stock from fishing companies at market prices.
By Eveline de Klerk