Fishing industry records a positive performance in 2013

WINDHOEK: The fishing industry reported positive performances in 2013 in terms of catches, market prices and the marketing of products.

Fisheries and Marine Resources’ (MFMR) Minister Bernard Esau made this announcement during his budget motivation speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

The MFMR requested more than N.dollars 368 million for the 2014/2015 financial year.

“It is a known fact that the fishing industry plays a vital role in the Namibian economy with respect to value-addition, employment, investment, export earnings and the general contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The year under review experienced good earnings for the fishing industry in terms of market prices fetched by fish and fishery products exported, which was also supported by the favourable exchange rate in terms of the Namibian dollar against the major trading currencies,” he boasted.

The fishing sector remains the second-largest earner of foreign currency behind mining, while its contribution to GDP is showing a gradual increase.

The value of fish and fish products for 2012 is estimated to be N.dollars 5.2 billion, compared to N.dollars 4,9 billion recorded in 2011.

During 2011 and 2012, the fishing industry contributed 3.7 per cent and 3.9 per cent to GDP, respectively.

The fishing industry continued to play a vital role in employment- creation, with the total workforce reported to be 13 380 in 2013, compared to 12 131 recorded in 2012.

The industry has also made N.dollars 50.8 million in socio-economic contributions, such as donations to various communities as well as bursaries for university students.

The government continues to encourage value-addition in the fishing sector, especially in the horse mackerel sector through canning onshore in the quest to maximize the value of Namibian fish and fishery products in the market, and to create new employment in the fishing sector.

Esau stated that value-addition will also serve as a competitive advantage for the fishing sector in terms of market diversification.

“Notwithstanding a decline in the total allowable catches (TAC) in some species, the contribution of the fisheries’ sector to the GDP showed an increase, and is forecasted to slightly improve in line with the global economic recovery.

We expect the trend to continue, as the fisheries’ sector gradually recovers in its performance and contribution to GDP and employment-creation,” the minister noted.