Stakeholders discuss local fish consumption

08 Mar 2018 15:00pm
WALVIS BAY, 08 MAR (NAMPA) - Various stakeholders in the fishing industry convened at Walvis Bay on Thursday for an annual forum where fish consumption in Namibia is discussed.
Stakeholders include fishing companies and the National Fish Consumption Promotion Trust.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau said the one-day forum is aimed at considering how to improve fish consumption nationally.
Esau said the ministry made a deliberate decision to support local fish consumption by instructing that all quota allocations, especially those for horse mackerel, carry a condition that 30 per cent of the landings should be sold locally.
“We have also made efforts to facilitate canning not only for job retention, but also because we know that this is one of the popular forms of fish consumed locally,” said the minister.
He said the policy objectives that inform the desire to promote fish consumption are that fish is necessary for improving people’s nutritional status.
“Fish consumption also creates jobs for our people, especially women and youth. Fish shops and other marketing as well as small-scale processing ventures of fish across the country, provide a realistic livelihood for many people and hence spread fisheries wealth within Namibia,” Esau said.
Other benefits, he mentioned are the promotion of innovation and acquisition of appropriate processing and technological skills.
Esau dispelled the notion that local fish consumption is not pro-business and might conflict with exports, saying Namibia’s 550 000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of fish landings annually are sufficient for export and local circulation.
“Our current target of 20.4 kilogrammes per person per year, which is the current world average, translates to about 47 000 MT of fish for local sales which is less than eight per cent of our annual landings,” he said.