SWAKOPMUND - Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau has appealed to the fishing industry not to see the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion (NFCPT) as a competitor but instead create synergy 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 fish locally.
The forum itself is aimed at considering the key national objectives of the fisheries ministry, 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 to 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 Namibians and spreads the wealth of its 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 are enough to provide enough for exports and for local consumption.
“Our current target of 20kg per
person per year, which is the current world average, translates to about 47 000 metric tons of fish for local sales, which is less than the eight per cent of our annual landings. This amount can easily be absorbed by one species, such as the horse mackerel which has a total allowable catch of 333 000,” Esau explained.
He added that Namibians want to eat fish and are prepared to pay the market related price for it.