Klazen outlines threat of illegal fishing as Fish Consumption Day is celebrated
By Adolf Kaure.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Derek Klazen said that illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing remains a great threat to global efforts to sustainably manage marine resources both within maritime boundaries and inland water bodies.
The Minister said this when the National Fish Consumption Day was recently celebrated in Walvis Bay.
“As a country of laws, processes and systems, the curtailing of IUU remains an essential weapon in the fight to ensure that fisheries resources feed not only the current generation but will remain a forever source of food for generations to come,” he said.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ (MFMR) Directorate for Operations plays a role in conducting strategic monitoring and surveillance to mitigate IUU.
Klazen also said that the licensing of a vessel is preceded by an investigation into their prior conduct or operations, especially regarding its involvement with IUU and these investigations typically takes time to complete.
“This is because Namibia relies not only on its own systems but also may require the assistance of neighbouring coastal states and other international organisations for collaboration in information and data sharing,” said Klazen.
The National Fish Consumption Day, which was celebrated for the eleventh time with a gala dinner, is an occasion to celebrate Namibian fisheries.
The day was initiated out of the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust’s (NFCPT) efforts to popularise a culture of consuming fish through consumer education as well as adding value beyond and above the primary mandate of the Trust.
Since the fundraising gala dinner donations started ten years ago, the Fish Consumption Trust and stakeholders have raised over N$5.4million to assist communities in various regions of Namibia.
The funds have been invested in schools’ needs, including the provision of mattresses, bunk beds, chairs, desks, lockers, fridges, computers, printers, school uniforms, bags of cement, frozen fish, and utensils.