Namibia, Congo discuss aquaculture improvement

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Windhoek

The Congolese government yesterday said it hopes it can work closely with Namibia to formulate a policy to enhance aquaculture in a controlled environment that should result in more fish production and better planning.

That country’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Bernard Tchibambelela, emphasized that aquaculture needs a holistic approach and that exchange of expertise between Congo and Namibia could improve strategies that are already in place.

Tchibambelela, who is in the country for bilateral discussions with Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau, continued that the two countries need to learn from each other to investigate how different approaches on aquaculture can complement each other. “Aquaculture in a controlled environment can greatly improve what already exists,” said the French-speaking Tchibambelela through an interpreter. Adding that Namibia and Congo should be united to develop fisheries and aquaculture to create employment, particularly for the youth, Tchibambelela stressed that the two countries need to add value to its natural resources thus the urgent need for industrialisation. Namibia and Congo’s fisheries ministries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 that calls for co-operation in the fields of monitoring, control and surveillance, exchange of information on fisheries and aquaculture, research and stock assessment, training and support on joint ventures, just to mention a few.

“To date we are happy to note that progress has been made as far as training is concerned. I am glad that candidates from the Republic of Congo could receive training at our maritime institution, NAMFI, and I trust that they will put the knowledge gained to good use.

“I am also cognizant that we need to gain momentum in the other areas of co-operation that are equally high on the agenda of the two ministries and I expect that protocols are developed to put into effect these areas of co-operation,” said Esau at yesterday’s meeting.

Esau also noted that Namibia has actively sought to create an enabling environment for aquaculture development, which he said has required specific policy, legislative and institutional interventions. “Namibia has been fortunate to benefit international experience in aquaculture and its Aquaculture Policy and Act can be viewed as a synthesis of international best practices. Namibia’s freshwater aquaculture industry is recognized as a growing source of employment and offers the possibility of social and economic improvements in communities with limited alternative resources,” noted Esau.

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