Mariculture industry affected negatively

A string of natural occurrences have impacted the mariculture industry and resulted in massive financial losses.

04 March 2019 | Fishing

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The occurrences of natural sulphur eruptions have negatively affected the mariculture industry in 2018, says minister of fisheries and marine resources Bernard Esau.

“These unfortunate events affected employment and caused losses of about N$6 million to the industry. We hope conditions will be favourable for the industry to flourish this year.”

Walvis Bay and Lüderitz aquaculture production areas experienced harmful algal blooms which produced phytoplankton biotoxins in 2018.

This caused diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) and paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), which resulted in the closure of affected areas, in line with international standards.

“The ministry continues to carry out molluscan shellfish sanitation and water quality monitoring programmes to ensure that all farmed fish are monitored for disease or biotoxins according to international requirements and the Aquaculture Act.”

Despite these challenges Namibian aquaculture (freshwater and marine aquaculture) produced about 335 MT of products (293 MT mariculture and 42 MT inland aquaculture), as compared to 450 MT in 2017 (384 MT mariculture and 66 MT inland aquaculture), and created 266 jobs.

Esau also said that government is keen to develop aquaculture and inland fisheries as a viable commercial activity, to diversify fisheries, reduce fishing pressure on marine resources, and address food security especially in coastal and riparian communities.

“Perennial rivers such as the Kunene, Kavango, Zambezi and Orange river as well as dams like Hardap and Neckartal have the potential to be used for mass production of freshwater fish species.”

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