Klazen slams illegal fishing activities

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Derek Klazen, said illegal fishing activities are one of the challenges that need to be combatted for the sustainable management of fisheries.

According to Klazen, more must be done to mitigate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing threatens the health of our marine resources and undermines our conservation efforts,” he said.

Namibia boasts a rights-based fishery sector, ensuring that its marine resources are managed responsibly and sustainably.

According to Klazen, one key pillar of a sustainable fisheries management approach is conducting periodic fisheries surveys and stock assessments, which he says are essential in determining the Total Allowable Catch (TAC).

“The Total Allowable Catch sets the limit on how much fish can be harvested without depleting the fish stocks. By setting and enforcing TAC limits, we aim to prevent overfishing and safeguard the long-term health of our marine ecosystems. Through our dedicated monitoring, control, and surveillance programmes, we are working tirelessly to combat IUU fishing and ensure that those who flout our regulations are held accountable,” Klazen said.

The Minister further highlighted the important role the ocean plays in regulating climate patterns, providing nutrition, and creating jobs for Namibian citizens.

“As a coastal nation, Namibia understands the importance of maintaining healthy marine ecosystems not only for economic reasons but also for the well-being of our communities and the sustainability of our environment.

“Let us reaffirm our dedication to sustainable fisheries management and combatting illegal fishing activities. “Together, through cooperation and unwavering commitment, we can ensure that Namibia’s fisheries remain a source of pride, sustenance, and livelihood for all,” he added.

Namibia’s proximity to the ocean has benefited the country from fishing.

The country’s oceans and other water bodies contribute 5% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with revenues of N$10 billion annually. These revenues create thousands of jobs and contribute to food security.