Walvis Fish Festival grows by leaps and bounds

03 Apr 2015 16:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 03 APR (NAMPA) – In spite of continued growth since its revival last year, the Walvis Bay Fish Festival needs more partners to sustain the growth.
The festival, also referred to as the ‘Fishtival’, is aimed at promoting the harbour town and attracting more investors as well as tourism.
It honours the fishing industry’s contribution to the employment of about 14 000 people, while also marketing and promoting small businesses especially those in the fishing sector.
During the official opening of the festival on Thursday, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau encouraged the fishing sector to take full participation in the festival.
“It is our hope that the festival will become an event that every Namibian would love to be part of. Ideally, it should grow to attract visitors from across the world as exhibitors show that our marine resources are healthy and harvested in a sustainable manner,” he said.
Esau noted that the fishing industry must rally behind the municipality to make the event even more successful.
He said the festival is in line with one of his ministry’s key objectives of promoting fish consumption and creation of awareness on the importance of the fishing sector for the country.
Stakeholders must educate the nation about the significance of the fishing industry and the opportunities it can offer through school tours and visits to fishing factories, advised the minister.
He indicated that fishing quotas should be to the benefit of Namibia and its people.
“We need to celebrate the fact that the industry has been well managed ever since independence, equally, we need to make sure that it will be protected for those who are yet to set foot on earth. We need to set an example to the world that things can be done responsibly,” said the minister.
On her part, Walvis Bay Mayor Uilika Nambahu stated that the festival should be supported as it helps market the fishing sector.
“Fishing is the second biggest contributor to our country’s Gross Domestic Product after mining. This is the main reason we need to remain focused on growing the industry,” she said.
The event started on Thursday and will end on Saturday with performances from South African soul/house music duo Liquideep, Namibians - Kwaito group PDK, solo artist Freeda, Elvis se Seun band at the Jan Wilkens Stadium.
Other highlights include the Miss Fishtival beauty pageant, karaoke, and cooking competitions.