January 21, 2012

Namibia to become biggest horse mackerel exporter

Namibia is striving to become one of the world's biggest horse mackerel exporters to contribute towards job creation, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau said. His ministry has implemented a programme to market horse mackerel extensively in and over the Namibian borders.

Currently, horse mackerel does not contribute much towards job creation. It is processed for distribution on the vessels and only a few people are employed. "It is time that the tides should change," said Esau, adding that horse mackerel should be processed and frozen for distribution on land. According to Esau, horse mackerel was not only 'food for the poor', and the perception of people towards the fish species should change.

Currently, local fish companies such as Namsov Fishing Enterprises sell horse mackerel since the year 1990 as an affordable source of valuable protein to West African countries and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Esau challenged new and old quota rights holders to become more innovative and to implement excellent marketing strategies to encourage Namibians to eat more of the fish species. "Marketing of horse mackerel needs to be looked into seriously," he stressed. He advised those in the business of commercial fishing to know that in order to achieve success, they should assume a culture of winning. Esau added that rights holders should participate constructively and plan ahead to have contingency actions when interest and exchange rates are not favourable, and when there is a decline in the demand for fish products.

A total of 100.000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel catches has been awarded to 10 rights holders in equal portions for the next seven years, including a freezer quota of 1 000 metric tonnes to the National Youth Service (NYS) of Namibia. (Bernama)

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