Scientists Brainstorm Over Fisheries Health and Development

NAMIBIAN marine scientists and researchers participating in a three-day annual research meeting that started in Swakopmund yesterday are presenting their studies and experiences in a wide variety of fields related to Namibia’s fisheries environment and industry with the aim to strengthen and develop this key economic sector.

The meeting is being held at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ national marine information and research centre. The theme is: ‘Towards the sustainable utilisation of Namibia’s marine resources’.

“The theme calls for a dynamic and continuous process through which decisions are made for the sustainable use, development and protection of all coastal, marine areas and resources. It recognises science and research as fundamental in providing coastal and ocean managers with the best available information and for management decisions to be based on solid scientific evidence,” stated fisheries and marine resources minister Bernhard Esau.

According to him, Namibia still has “depths of untapped resource treasures” that could be discovered through proper scientific research.

“A large part of Namibia’s GDP is from natural resources. The coast and our ocean also provide jobs to thousands of Namibians, not only in fisheries, but [diamond] mining, port activity and tourism. This is why there is a need for sustainable utilisation,” said Esau.

He admitted that while many sectors can share the same resources sustainably, there are also concerns that there may be conflicts over resources.

“We cannot compromise our integrity, hence the importance of such forums. Some stakeholders can co-exist while others are detrimental to the resources. What we want to do needs to be based on scientific evidence not merely sentiments driven by profits and gains,” said Esau.

Source : The Namibian