Nam and Spain's Galicia to sign new fisheries agreement

10 Jun 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibia and the regional government of Galicia, Spain will sign a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the areas of aquaculture, research development, training, as well as cooperation in stock assessment.
The previous MoU took effect in 2009 and ended in 2014 and included increasing the capacity of the National Marine Information and Research Center (NATMIRC) in terms of fisheries research and valuation of fish stocks, analysis and design of database systems. Under the programme, funds and expertise were provided for the development of the fresh water fisheries hatchery at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region and also covered training on research on main commercial fisheries species, whereby several experts from Spain visited Namibia to offer on-site training.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau made the announcement during bilateral talks on Friday with the Regional Minister of Maritime Affairs of the Regional Government of Galicia, Spain, Rosa Maria Quintana Carballo.
“As we are faced with climate change, we need to do more research to find more fish species for quotas. We need to collect data from surveys done which is very important for planning,” Esau noted.
A lot of research activities have taken place over the years in Namibia, such as on hake and horse mackerel and there is a need to do more, the minister said. The two parties also agreed on the need to expand areas of cooperation to encompass all aspects of fisheries development.
Meanwhile, Carballo said through an interpreter that her country would like to develop another MoU to commit both parties to continue to develop aquaculture, training and research in the fishing sector.
“Namibia is a country that we would like to invest in,” she stated.
Carballo and her delegation arrived in Namibia on Tuesday and visited various fishing companies in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
She invited Esau to attend the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition (Conxemar) expo in October 2016. It serves as the meeting point for the entire processing branch, distributors, importers and exporters of frozen seafood products.
Spanish companies are catching an estimated seven out of every 10 Namibian hakes in what has been considered one of the world’s richest fishing grounds, according to a 2013 report issued by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.