Fisheries’ ministry to review policies

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has embarked upon the revision of two main policies and legislative frameworks guiding its operations.

The policies are the Inland Fisheries’ Policy and the Marine Resources’ Policy.

Fisheries minister Bernard Esau announced this in the National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday whilst introducing his ministry’s budget allocation of N.dollars 368 748 000 for the 2014/15 financial year.

The Inland Fisheries’ Policy provides for the conservation and protection of aquatic ecosystems, and the sustainable development of inland fisheries’ resources.

It also provides for the control and regulation of inland fishing.

The Marine Resources’ Policy provides for the conservation of the marine ecosystem and the responsible utilisation, conservation, protection and promotion of marine resources on a sustainable basis.

“The Inland Fisheries’ Act has been reviewed, and the process is at an advanced stage to review the policy documents before they are submitted through the normal legislative-making process,” Esau stated.

The minister explained that the review of the Marine Resources’ Policy, Act and Regulations will commence during the 2014/15 financial year, starting with the revision of the Marine Resources’ Policy.

This project is expected to take approximately three years to complete.

“The reasons for the review of the two sets of legislation were to strengthen the legislative framework by accommodating recent developments in fisheries’ management globally, regionally and nationally,” he added.

Another reason is to address any shortcomings identified in the implementation and enforcement of legislation.

Esau indicated that his ministry is at an advanced stage of developing the Shellfish Sanitation Regulations, which are aimed at ensuring food safety during the production, harvesting and transportation of shellfish intended for human consumption.

It is expected that these regulations will be finalised during the 2014/15 financial year.

“In order to carry out these activities during the 2014/15 financial year, an amount of N.dollars 14 801 000 is required,” the Fisheries’ minister said.