“Slow moving aquaculture states face numerous challenges”

namib times 24-07-15

 

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau, has recently highlighted the issue of the growing hitches of fisheries management, and identified it as an issue of international concern, at the annual gathering of ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries) ministers of Fisheries in Belgium.

Esau singled out the problem of Biological science not having been able to consistently predict future exploitable quantities.

According to him as a result quotas have in some cases been set above those recommended by biological science.

“We know that in

some areas the over-

capacity in fleets

prevails with few alternatives to employment particularly in coastal rural areas highly dependent on fisheries.

Furthermore fishermen in many regions have shown a marked reluctance to adhere to regulations established by management agencies.”

He says they as ministers are challenged from the management point of view and as cooperating partners under ACP countries to prudently look at challenges at hand and mobilise human and capital resource in fighting these glit-ches.

“Exploitation of environmental resources

should be hinged to an effective value-

adding regime for purposes of sustainable extraction and employment.”

Regarding value addition, the Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister has stressed adding value to fisheries products is one of the key activities to be enforced by this programme under the ACP countries’ Strategic Action Plan.

“Adding value allows for better margins to be made at local le-vel, which will add to [the] betterment of the economic position of ACP countries as players in fisheries.

This consequently contributes to deve-

lopment [the] deve-

lopment of our respective people.”

Esau suggested that, if the exploitation of wild fisheries has reached its potential as is the case now, and margins cannot be exceeded, there is the opportunity to recourse to fish husbandry.

He also noted small-scale fisheries and aquaculture’s critical contribution to development in the areas of employment,” with over 41 million people worldwide, the vast majority of whom live in deve-

loping countries, under which ACP states resort, working in fish production; food security and nutrition with fish constituting an important source of nutrients for the poor, and often being the cheapest form of animal protein, and trade, with a third of fishery commodity production in deve-

loping countries destined for export.

With most capture fisheries worldwide considered fully exploited or overexploited, aquaculture has become imperative to meeting the demand of fish, which will continue to increase with population growth as well as rising incomes and increasing urbanisation”.

In conclusion Esau said the ACP States’ aquaculture which has grown much more slowly than in other regions, is facing numerous challenges, including resource conflicts, difficulties in accessing credit, quality seed and feed and information.

“Also the key to meeting growing demand will be improvements in post-harvest processing to reduce fish losses.”

But the minister ended on a positive note, expressing his confidence that ministers responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture would be able to adopt a roadmap for the implementation of the Strategic Ation Plan.

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