Namibia seeks certification to enter Northern European markets with its hake

Namibian hake might very soon achieve greater value in northern European countries. This week the Namibian Hake Association is hosting a workshop to achieve certification on sustainable fishing with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Once Namibian hake achieves certification of sustainable fishing with the Marine Stewardship Council, this species will receive higher consumer visibility and a subsequent higher value. The workshop aims at bringing the hake industry on the same page with regard to what has to be done to achieve this certification.
“Better marketing (of hake) leads to better trade and better trade leads to increased FOREX earnings,” said Bernhard Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), during the opening of the workshop yesterday. “Consumers don’t only want safe and tasty fish, but fish that was sustainably harvested,” he added.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation promoting sustainable fishing. Fish labelled with the blue MSC label fulfils a list of criteria set by MSC and comes from a sustainable fishery that has met the MSC fisheries standard.
According to Matti Amukwa, Chairperson of the Namibian Hake Association, the process of MSC certification has been in the pipeline for a number of years. “This workshop is proof that MSC certification is moving forward and will open new markets. It will enable us to get real value for our fish,” he said. Amukwa added that the process has been “long overdue.”
While Esau reiterated during his speech that Namibia is managing its fisheries on a sustainable manner, he said that “some people are questioning this.” “It is proven that we are managing our fisheries on a sustainable manner and have some of the best practices in the world”, he said. Should Namibia be successful in the MSC certification process, the minister expressed interest in expanding this certification to other fisheries like horse mackerel.
The process until certification is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. Once certification is achieved, it is the hope that hake will achieve a greater value in northern European countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Austria to name but a few.

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