Fisheries ministry donates fish from aquaculture research facility to northern flood victims
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, to support the flood victims in the north, on Friday handed over 2.5 tons of freshwater fish harvested from an aquaculture demonstration farm at Epalela.
Epalela Fish Farm is the biggest government research project of freshwater production in the country.
The handing over of the fish to the Office of the Prime took place in Windhoek, where Minister of Fisheries, Hon Derek Klazen said the donation is for the benefit of the citizens who are affected by flood and also to demonstrate that aquaculture is feasible in Namibia.
“Food security is a high priority of my ministry and I call upon Namibians who have a passion for aquaculture to start their aquaculture projects. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources stands ready to provide fingerlings and technical advisory service to the fish farmers,” he said.
According to Klazen, the purpose of the Epalela farm is to demonstrate through research, production trials, and improvements in economic efficiency, the viability of freshwater fish farming. “The farm has 12 ponds, with a maximum production capacity of 60 tons per annum. Fish are grown to the market size and sold to the community at a subsidized price.”
The recent floods in the north-central regions of the country displaced people and affected their livelihoods.
Klazen in a statement said the purpose of the government to establish aquaculture centers in the regions is to attain the national socio-economic objectives, which are to enhance food security, employment creation, and income generation from small, medium to large-scale aquaculture production.
“The established regional aquaculture centers have responsibilities of fish breeding extension service (such as fingerling production and distribution) and training or awareness creation on how the local communities can venture into aquaculture or fish farming,” he added.
The Northwest Aquaculture centres include Ongwediva, Onavivi and Epalela.
“These centres provide extension services to the communities of Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, and Kunene,” he said, adding that the ministry has eight operational fish farm centres, which are: Hardap Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Centre in the Hardap Region; Leonardville Fish Farm in the Omaheke Region; Fonteintjie Fish Farm in the Karas Region; Onavivi Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Centre in the Omusati Region; Ongwediva Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Centre in the Oshana Region; Mpungu Demonstration Fish Farm in the Kavango West Region; Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute in the Kavango East Region; and Zambezi Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Centre in the Zambezi Region.