Lüderitz-Fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau congratulated the Lüderitz Town Council and business community for their commitment in yet again organizing the annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival.
He said the event offers an exceptional opportunity for the business community, new investors, tourists, officials, the media, and entertainment and other personalities both from Namibia and across the world, people from !Nami#nus Constituency and indeed the mighty //Kharas Region, to come together and celebrate the wonderful sceneries, excellent cuisine, especially when accompanied by Lüderitz crayfish, and discuss many opportunities the town has to offer.
The fisheries deputy minister Samuel Chief Ankama read Esau’s speech on Friday evening at the official launch of the 10th annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival 2017 gala dinner, held at Lüderitz Nest Hotel.
He appealed to the fishing industry, all Namibians, all friends of Lüderitz and the entire //Kharas Region from all over the world, to come and contribute generously towards making the tenth anniversary of the crayfish festival a successful and memorable event.
He applauded the town council for sustaining this vision for the last 10 years.
“The fact that you are organizing this event for the 10th time illustrates your enduring determination to promote Lüderitz, to celebrate our God-given crayfish treasure, and your belief that Lüderitz is the place to be for business, sport and leisure. The festival has now proven itself as strong, stable, and necessary,” Esau said in his speech.
He stressed that the fisheries ministry takes seriously the crayfish festival because “fishery is the most important investment in Lüderitz”.
“At the ministry we have a deliberate policy to encourage investments in Lüderitz. Our Marine Resources Act, 2000, allows the minister to deliberately encourage regional development when allocating quotas, especially to those right holders who invest in fisheries in towns such as Lüderitz,”said Esau.
He indicated that this is in recognition of the higher operational cost such as labour and fuel, as well as transportation costs when operating in Lüderitz as compared to Walvis Bay.
Esau said he took note of the investments by fishing companies and the exciting new investments in abalone, “which are all taking place in this beautiful coastal town of Lüderitz”.
These investments are creating much-needed jobs in the region, and are increasing the focus on Lüderitz as a major fisheries investment hub.
Esau explained that the ministry is part of the team spearheading the development of Lüderitz Waterfront, a flagship project for the town and indeed the whole of //Kharas, which will help showcase the best aspects of that part of Namibia.
“We will continue to emphasize more and more on the need to invest in Lüderitz, particularly in value addition activities in order to create more on-shore jobs for this region,” said Esau.
Esau called upon investors to focus on Lüderitz, especially in the rock lobster fishery, which is one of the few fisheries in Namibia where, year by year, the stock is plenty, but there is insufficient fishing capacity to land all the allocated total allowable catches.
An amount of N$442 000 was raised during the dinner where the Seaflower Group pledged N$120 000 followed by Standard Bank that pledged N$100 000. MTC pledged N$85 000, NovaNam pledged N$20 000, Bank Windhoek, Hangana Fishing, African King, Lüderitz Waterfront, Namdeb, Mobi Pay, Namport, Marco Fishing all pledged N$10 000 each, while individual business people pledged between N$2 000 and N$500.
The 10th Lüderitz Crayfish Festival is scheduled to start on April 27 and run until May 2, under the theme ‘Crowning 10 years of Crayfish Fiesta’ and will be addressed by the head of state.