19 Jun 2013 06:00
WINDHOEK, 19 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibia will benefit tremendously from the Benguela Current Convention once it is implemented, Fisheries and Marine Resources? Minister Bernhard Esau said here on Tuesday.
Esau made the statement in Parliament whilst tabling the Benguela Current Convention for ratification.
This convention is a treaty between Angola, Namibia and South Africa (SA), and was signed by the three countries on 18 March 2013.
In essence, the Benguela Current Convention captures the three countries? intention to conserve and manage the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) jointly for the benefit of present and future generations.
The BCLME is an important centre of marine biodiversity and marine food production, and is one of the most productive ocean areas in the world.
The convention will be implemented through the Benguela Current Commission (BCC).
?As a country in the middle of the BCLME, our shared fisheries? resources will be sustainably utilised by collaboration with our neighbours in the north and in the south?, said Esau.
The BCC will use scientific data for joint management planning of the shared commercially and economically-important fishery resources such as horse mackerel and sardines shared by Angola and Namibia, as well as Cape hakes shared by Namibia and SA.
Other benefits include the production of goods and services from Namibian sources, thereby supporting the local economy.
?With the secretariat located at the National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC) in Swakopmund, Namibian scientists will gain valuable experiences and technical know- how from visiting regional and international scholars,? the minister enthused.
Esau reiterated that Namibians will have comparative advantages in terms of employment at the secretariat, adding that general staff will also be recruited amongst locals.
The country will also benefit from various training and skills? development interventions by the BCC Training and Capacity-Building Programmes.
Expanding on the successful collaboration on ocean governance with Angola and SA, Esau said about 80 project contracts worth several million dollars were awarded and carried out in close cooperation with Government ministries, universities as well as fishing, oil, gas and marine diamond mining industries in the region.
Due to the multi-sectoral nature of the convention, it involves four ministries - Environment and Tourism; Mines and Energy; Works and Transport; as well as Fisheries and Marine Resources.