08 Jun 2019 16:50pm
WALVIS BAY, 08 JUN (NAMPA) - Harmful fishing subsidies that provide capacity enhancing subsidies to their fishing fleet should be banned, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, has said.
Esau made these remarks during the commemoration of the World Ocean Day here on Saturday, where he said the subsidies are harmful to fish stocks globally.
These harmful subsidies are a major reason why many African countries cannot develop their own domestic fleet, hence the call for them to be banned during the current World Trade Organization negotiations taking place in Geneva on this matter, Esau said.
Namibia does not provide capacity enhancing fishing subsidies, and we are opposed to them, considering that they distort fair competition among fishing fleets in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZs) and is part of the global efforts to save the ocean, which includes negotiations on biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, he added.
The annual event was held under the theme Gender and the Ocean.
We must all do our bit to ensure the health and sustainability of our ocean and I am happy to note that tori lines, which were introduced in 2008 through a collaboration between the MFMR, Birdlife Internationals Albatross Task Force (ATF), Namibian Hake fishery, among others, to reduce seabird mortalities has been 98 per cent successful.
The ATF is a marine conservation project focusing on reducing seabird mortalities caused by interactions with fishing gear.
Project Coordinator, Samantha Matjila, during the event noted that committing towards protecting and conserving the natural environment both on and offshore should be a shared responsibility for all Namibians.
Our aim is to highlight the importance of maintaining the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources so that future generations can continue to reap the benefits from it, Matjila stated.