Fishing confederation supports no fishing in 200m isobar zone
"We support the minister’s position not to allow anyone without exception to go and temper with this invaluable resource in this protected and restricted area. We remain fully behind the minister and he can count on our support", Matti Amukwa assured at the launch of the Namibia Fish Consumption Day in Walvis Bay on Friday.
The wet pelagic industry has been lobbying for the past two years to be granted permission to fish in this area, as many believe that this is where the fish travel during winter months. Fishing factories in the wet pelagic industry and horse mackerel fishing comes to a standstill during winter months.
"The 200m isobar restrictions were introduced for scientific reasons. The shallow waters are the spawning grounds for most of the commercial species in Namibia as well as the cob. Apart from being the spawning grounds, they are also the nursery grounds for many of the species before they grow to a size where they will migrate into deeper waters,” Amukwa emphasised.
He pointed out that fishing cannot be allowed in these waters as the disturbance of the young fish, caused by fishing will impact on the biomass of all the species that are important to the Namibian fishing industry, including the horse mackerel. “Opening up the grounds, even for a short period, will set a precedent. Sectors of the industry including mining might be enticed to also request access to these waters and it will be difficult to deny them access once the "no fishing" rule has been broken.”
According to Amukwa such a move will also jeopardize the Hake Marine Steward Council (MSC) certification the country received. “This was awarded considering the prudent way we manage our fisheries and the closure of that area was one of the most positive points taken into account for the assessment.”