The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau said the fisheries ministry plays its part by allocating fish quotas equally and fairly, reports NewEra.
“We are doing our part. Your responsibility as stakeholders is to add value to our raw materials and at the same time to create job opportunities by employing more people in this sector,” Mr Esau told the newspaper.
“Be it economic, social, political or business, we all have a role to play in the country’s vision to reduce unemployment through job creation and value addition of our products. We are all aware that NDP4 was launched last year by President Hifikepunye Pohamba with the emphasis on high and sustainable economic growth, employment creation, increased income equality and poverty reduction,” Mr Esau said.
He requested all stakeholders in the fishing sector to work towards the realisation of the goals of NDP4, which include increased manufacturing, value addition and employment creation. “I am appealing to all stakeholders to make positive contributions towards this exercise and to buy into this strategic plan that is aligned to NPD4, so that eventually this document becomes ours instead of that of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources [alone],” Mr Esau told NewEra.
Preliminary figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency indicate that the fishing industry's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year 2012 was 3.1 per cent, which is a slight reduction from 2011 when it stood at 3.6 per cent.
The final value of exports in the fishing sector stood at N$5.1 billion in 2011, compared to N$4.4 billion in 2010. This was due to the increase in value addition and increased fish landings.
The fishing industry employs about 13,000 workers of whom about 43 per cent are seagoing and 57 percent are involved in onshore processing.
The hake sector, which is the main employer in the fishing industry, employs 9,000 people. The fisheries sector is the third largest economic sector in terms of contribution to the GDP, which stood at about N$3.9 billion during 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. The fisheries industry is expected to grow to N$4.2 billion at the end of the current economic cycle.