The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, said the fisheries sector remains a strong pillar of the country’s economy and earned about N$10 billion through forex from fisheries landings of about 555 000 metric tons.
Additionally, the sector supports approximately 15 200 indirect jobs and three times more indirect jobs in supplies, logistics, among others.
Esau also urged the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) to prioritise and complete the expansion of its footprint in all 14 regions of the country.
The minister made the appeal during the launch of the NFCPT’s fifth annual national fish consumption day at Walvis Bay last week on Friday.
NFCPT has 16 shops in 12 regions, with recent additions in Rundu and Omuthiya.
The national fish consumption day is aimed at creating awareness of the importance of consuming fish, while at the same time celebrating the country’s rich fish stocks and underpinning its economic and social benefits.
“The Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) is clear that no Namibian must die of hunger and promoting fish through NFCPT is one of the ways to allow all Namibians access to the country’s natural resources. Through NFCPT we allocate a quota to be traded below market prices to targeted communities across the country. During 2015 we distributed 6 274 metric tons of fish towards this goal,” he stated.
According to Esau, the fish consumption day also serves as a platform to teach people how to cook fish, promote fish species found in Namibia and educate the nation about the fishing industry.
“It is the day when we celebrate our rich stocks of various fish, the nutritional, economic and social importance of eating Namibian fish,” he said.
.Also speaking at the same event, the chairperson of NFCPT’s board, Katrina Shikeni, said the national fish consumption day is aligned to fulfil the mandate under which the trust was established.
“It is a noble cause that is aimed at encouraging the consumption of fish in the country, while at the same time we plough back the proceeds of such events to the community,” she said.
Shikeni appealed to communities and fishing companies to support and attend the annual fish consumption day to be held on September 30.