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Superior Value Addition Critical in Fisheries Sector

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

NAMIBIA - The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, has called on delegates attending the second National Annual Olupale Leeshi Fishing Conference, to focus on superior value addition and employment creation.

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"Our fisheries sector is highly respected for its quality fish and fisheries products, as well as sound management practices through scientific research," said Mr Esau.

"It is important to note that a number of conservation and management measures have been put in place in order to ensure the sustainability of the fishing sector."

Mr Esau urged the delegates to critically analyze the state of Namibia's fishing sector and identify investment opportunities for superior value addition in order to create further employment opportunities and stimulate the economy, reports NewEra.

"I urge you to use this platform to intensify focus and engage in dialogue to reposition our fishing industry and strengthen our economy," he said.

International fisheries ministers and experts in the industry are attending the conference that kicked off yesterday in Swakopmund.

Mr Esau emphasised the importance of the fishing industry as one of the most vital sectors of the country's economy in terms of job creation and revenue generation, amongst others.

He added that the fishing sector has made significant strides, in terms of value addition to the country's natural resources and thus advancing Namibia's strategy for economic industrialization. The fishing industry employs about 12,000 people.

Mr Esau also pointed out that the aquaculture and mariculture sub-sectors should be promoted as catalysts to empower less fortunate communities.

He stressed the government's commitment to prudently manage and utilize marine resources within the context of the existing laws and regulations.

"We are committed to facilitate investments in the sector in order to sustain the country's population. Therefore, the outcome [of the conference] should be used as a guiding tool for the fishing industry to become more productive," Mr Esau noted.

Olupale Leeshi's focus will be employment creation and value addition in the fisheries sector.

The fisheries ministry aims to manage living aquatic resources to ensure a conducive environment for the fishing and aquaculture sectors to prosper, as well as to empower the Namibian people to a level where they can effectively participate and contribute to wealth creation and national development goals.

The conference, which is held under the theme "Raising the Bar", will focus on issues affecting the fishing industry, including the governance and management of the fisheries resources policy, management of fish stocks, the effects of climate change on the fishing industry, maximizing value from fishing resources and ensuring sustainable resources and market accessing opportunities for Namibia.

Close to 300 delegates are attending the week-long conference.