Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau will soon have discussions with local authorities and line ministries on the possibility of availing land for aquaculture and mariculture projects across the country. Currently the availability of land prevents investors from funding these projects, he says.
Esau said these activities are aimed at employment creation and poverty reduction. Therefore, consultation needs to take place between the involved stakeholders to discuss the allocation of land for such projects.
The fisheries minister was on Wednesday expected to meet the newly elected mayor of Henties Bay, Herman /Honeb, and the town’s CEO, Reinhardt Stevens Ochs, to solicit land for these projects. Esau said although he does not make any decisions on behalf of local authorities in terms of the allocation of land, he can only stress the importance of such projects, not only for the fishing industry but for the entire country.
“You know it’s not only about the allocation of land, but there is an issue of parks and protected areas that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the local authority, but of other ministries. So we must all sit around one table and see how best we can address the issue,” he explained.
Esau believes opportunities within aquaculture can be harnessed to produce high-value fish and shellfish for domestic and international markets. “Our government strongly supports any ventures in aquaculture, as it holds numerous benefits for the local community. Aquaculture can also improve food security and represents sustainable economic use of our coastal and inland fisheries resources,” he said during a press briefing here on Wednesday.
“We have so much land along our coastline, but we are not utilising this land. We need to be productive with this land, or else we are doing a disservice to the people of this country,” he stated.