NAMIBIA’S SARDINE BIOMASS NOT DEPLETING, SAYS FISHERIES MINISTER

SWAKOPMUND, NAMIBIA, Namibia's pilchard (sardine) biomass is not depleting or depleted because regulations which are in place are designed to allow for its recovery, says Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau.

"There is stock in the sea but we need to establish whether the statements that pilchards went deeper and cannot be caught by trawlers anymore is true," he said here Thursday when responding to queries at the annual meeting of his ministry here.

The Managing Director of Etosha Fishing Corporation at Walvis Bay, Pieter Greeff, said last week that apart from the fish going deeper into the ocean, bad weather conditions such as winds also made it difficult to bring the fish to factory.

He said Etosha had not been able to meet the granted quota and last year had to close one of its shops.

The pilchards Total Allowable Catch (TAC) given to right holders has decreased to 14,000 tonnes for this and the next fiscal years, but Esau said Namibia has enough pilchards. He assured that the TAC would not deplete the country's stock over the next three to four years because it is based on scientific research.

The minister said Namibia's pilchard stock was also exploited during colonial times and his focus is to ensure recovery by reducing the TAC from 25,000 tonnes to 14,000 tonnes.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK