By Prince Mupiri
WINDHOEK, APRIL 3 – Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has requested a budget of more than N$85 million for the conservation of aquatic life resources. The budget will be utilized to discourage illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities in Namibia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and inland water bodies. The Ministry aims to implement the Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) program by conducting air, sea, and river inspections, as well as tracking landings at processing plants, ports, and off-port limits.
Derek Klazen, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, presented the ministry’s budget to Parliament, requesting N$290,510,000 to carry out its duties for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The daily budget will receive the majority of this allotment, or N$270,510,000, while the remaining N$20,000,000 will go towards growth initiatives. An additional N$52 million will be spent on studies to collect information on marine fisheries stocks, helping determine the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) to ensure the long-term sustainability of marine resources.
The Ministry performed biomass surveys on all economically exploitable fish populations during the fiscal year 2022–2023 to influence TAC as a management tool. Klazen reported that data gathering and stock evaluations are essential to keep the prime hake fully certified by the Marine Steward Council and open up profitable markets for Namibian goods. To provide scientific guidance on TACs for various commercial fisheries, the Ministry plans to continue performing surveys during the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
The Ministry has allocated an estimated N$44 million from the budget for the responsible and sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry, which will provide social and fiscal benefits to residents living near perennial rivers and seasonally rained pans. – Namibia Daily News