Fish Exports Generated N$5 Billion

The value of Namibian fish and fishery products for 2012 was estimated at N$5.2 billion while the Gross Domestic Product contribution for the same year is put at 3.9 percent.

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, said this was a clear indication – despite negative factors affecting the industry – that the sector remained resilient and continues being one of the key pillars of the country’s national economy.

During 2011 the final value of exports in the fishing sector stood at N$5.1 billion, which was an increase from the N$4.4 billion exported in 2010.

Esau was addressing the entire fishing industry during the annual stakeholders address that took place at Walvis Bay yesterday. The annual address is hosted every year to review the performance of the fishing industry and address challenges facing the sector.

Esau said that despite a decline in the total allowable catch (TAC) for some species the contribution of the fishing sector to the GDP generally showed an upward trend and was forecast to slightly improve for 2013 on the back of global recovery.

According to the minister the industry also invested approximately N$212 million during 2013 of which N$187 million was invested in a single fishery.

The industry contributed N$50 million to corporate and social investment in the form of fish donations, school material and health scholarships.

The industry created 13 380 jobs according to the ministry’s verification report of 2013.

“This compares favourably with the ministry’s five-year plan target which was to employ 13 854 people by last year. We are only 478 jobs short against the plan, however I am confident that we can easily reach our goal within the next 18 months,” Esau explained.

He urged right holders and players in the fishing industry to create more jobs, through continuous value addition and diversifying of markets.

“We witness new additions such as the canning of fish and land-based processing of horse-mackerel. All these initiatives are applauded highly and we will continue with the emphasis on value addition and the marketing of high value products in order to realise optimum benefits from our natural resources in terms of foreign currency and job creation,” he said.

“In this regard, the ministry has introduced the requirement that 2 per cent of the horse-mackerel TAC be directed to the horse-mackerel cannery as part of the horse-mackerel value addition canning initiatives under the 2014 quota allocations,” the minister said.

Source : New Era