Aim is for Namibians to consume 70kg of fish per person per annum

Fish exports and local fish consumption can live in the same space in Namibia, says Fisheries Minister, Bernhard Esau. Namibia harvests 550 000 metric tons of fish annually and 2,3 million Namibians cannot exhaust these volumes by local consumption only.

Namibia’s national target for domestic fish consumption is 160 000 metric tons per annum, very close to one third of the total annual harvest.
Minister Esau made this statement in Walvis Bay on Friday at the launch of the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust’s (NFCPT) annual National Fish Consumption Day. This year the National Fish Consumption Day is to take place in the Kavango West Region.
“I am aware that the objective of providing fish to our citizens may appear to some people to be in conflict with our desire to maximise export values in order to contribute to economic development. We have enough variety and volume of fisheries to achieve both objectives”, the minister explained.
Hake, monk, crab and lobster are exported to high value markets, but species like horse mackerel and snoek are popular on local- and SADC markets. Namibia’s inland waters also harbours some 5000 metric tons of bream and is a major source of food security for thousands of Namibians.
On the topic of the NFPT, Minister Esau said during the 2016/17 period the Trust distributed through fish shops only 4% of the 160 000 metric tons earmarked for domestic consumption.
The NFCPT is a special purpose vehicle resorting under the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to promote national fish consumption. Local fish consumption is important to maintain health, nutrition and job creation.
Esau called upon the Trust to keep the momentum to grow Namibia into a fish consuming nation, similar to Norway and Japan where individuals consume up to 70kg of fish per person per year.
“We have to show the world that we love eating what we sell them, and that we also want to benefit from the health benefits of our fish”, the Minister proclaimed.

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