Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, has appealed to the fishing industry not to see the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT) as a competitor but instead should create a synergy with it to accelerate fish consumption in Namibia.
Esau was speaking at a stakeholder’s forum between NFCPT and various stakeholders that seek to explore ways to increase the consumption of marine fisheries products locally.
The forum itself is aimed at considering the key national objective of the ministry of fisheries which is serious in achieving the set targets for fish consumption in Namibia.
Namibia wants at least 47,000 metric tons of the 555,000 annual quota be consumed locally.
According to Esau, local fish consumption does not only improve the nutritional status of Namibians but also creates much needed jobs especially for women and the youth.
He added that fish shops and other marketing and small-scale processing ventures of fish across the country provide a realistic livelihood for many and spread the wealth of their spinoffs within Namibia.
“Local fish consumption promotes innovation, skills and technology. Hence, I would like to dispel the notion that local fish consumption is not pro-business and may even conflict with exporters,” Esau said.
According to Esau, the annually set quota landings is enough to provide enough for exports and for local consumption.
“Our current target of 20 kg per person per year, which is the current world average, translates to about 47,00 metric tons of fish for local sales which is less than the 8 percent of our annual landings. This amount can easily be absorbed by one species, such as horse mackerel which has a total allowable catch of 333,000,” he noted.
He said Namibians want to eat fish and they are prepared to pay market-related prices for it.