WINDHOEK – Cabinet has endorsed the monkfish total allowable catch (TAC) to be set at 7 200 metric tons for the 2019/2020 fishing season, which is slightly lower than last year. The reduction of TAC is for the monkfish biomass to recover.
The fishing season started in May and to run to April 2020. Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa announced this last week, during the routine media briefing on Cabinet’s decisions.
According to executive director in the ministry of fisheries Dr Moses Maurihungirire, there is a slight reduction between the TAC of last year and this year.
“Last year we had 8 000 metric tons and this year it is 7 200 metric tons, which is the consequence of nature. That is what we went and estimated in the waters this year,” he said.
“The regulation thereto is nature. We are not regulating the abundance of fish in the water. We only count them and regulate the fishermen but we realise that we found a slight reduction in the TAC,” said Maurihungirire.
He emphasised that allocating lower TAC is to help conserve the species. “If we were not doing our work prudently, we would have had a bigger TAC but now we want to regulate what is taken out of the water, and that in itself indicates that we don’t support overfishing. And the moment we realise there is little fish we reduce the TAC.”
When asked how much of the monkfish is exported and sold locally, Maurihungirire responded that the majority of the monkfish is exported and a minimal amount between one and two percent is consumed locally. He said locally, people go for hake, horse mackerel and others.
He said the other percentage is sold to international customers, which is good for international currency to come into the country.
“It’s the exporters’ preference; that is not the doing of the government but private entities who have established their customers all over the world, which is also good for Namibia as well.”
Asked if there is value addition, Maurihungirire said there is some value addition, which is one of the prerequisites.
“Although I don’t have the details of the value added, there is value added to the bulk of our fisheries before it leaves our country, because otherwise if we don’t add value, you export the jobs to other countries that are going to put slight value to the products and create employment there,” said Maurihungirire.
2019-05-20 09:21:00 3 months ago