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Eat more fish in Hardap

A long way from the sea, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Bernhard Esau appreciates the different types of fish available in the Mariental Fish Shop. His eager co-shopper is the Governor of Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

A long way from the sea, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Bernhard Esau appreciates the different types of fish available in the Mariental Fish Shop. His eager co-shopper is the Governor of Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

In a bid to encourage more people to consume fish, the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust recently opened a temporary fish shop in Mariental in the Hardap Region. This is the 14th fish shop inaugurated across the country by the trust.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau, who officiated at the opening ceremony of the new temporary fish shop, emphasized the importance of eating fish and urged all the residents of Mariental as well as those in the surrounding areas to keep supporting the trust by purchasing fish. “I call upon all Namibians to support the Trust in this high but noble calling to transform the predominantly meat eating nation into one that consumes fish as well,” said the minister.
According to the minister, fish contains important nutrients that form part of a balanced diet.“We must first eat fish before we export fish, everyone must have access to affordable fish,” Esau added. Various commercial fish species such as horse mackerel, hake, angel and canned products are available for well below their market prices.

Ingrid Katuanene, a resident of Aimablaagte in Mariental, said that the establishment of the local fish shop is a dream come true for many fish lovers in Mariental. “This is a very good initiative from the fish consumption trust. We have been purchasing fish at local retailers at a very high price which many of us could not afford. The fish here at the fish shop is really cheap!” exclaimed Ingrid. She was seen purchasing horse mackerel, paying N$9.14 for just over one kilogram of fish.
According to Esau, in order to create employment for the community of Hardap region, various fish farm ponds will soon be constructed at the Hardap Dam, thus enabling local communities to engage in fish farming activities. The Hardap Dam used to house a leading fish research and breeding station but this has fallen into disrepair due to gross neglect over the past two decades.
Meanwhile, in Mariental the construction budget for the permanent fish shop is estimated at N$5 million and construction will commence by February 2015. The fish shop will provide an  alternative outlet of high-quality fish products.
Established in March 2001, the trust aims to promote fish consumption by making fish more accessible and affordable. The trust also conducts cooking sessions teaching the public how to cook fish to derive the most nutritional benefit from it. The trust runs 14 shops in 9 regions.

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