National plan of action for small scale fisheries to be launched
Namibia, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) is one of the first African countries to implement the SSF Guidelines by developing a national plan of action for SSF. The key activities for the three-day event will include validation of the NPOA-SSF by SSF from 14 Regions of Namibia, followed by the official launch of the NPOA-SSF, African Women Fish Processors and Traders Network (AWFISHNET) Namibian Chapter and the celebration of World Ocean Day.
MFMR in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) will also celebrate the year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) and World Ocean’s Day.
The three-day event and celebration is aimed at validating the importance and significance of small-scale fisheries in Namibia and to enhance the understanding of the current status of small-scale fisheries both inland and marine. The occasion also serves the purpose of raising awareness of the importance and viability of the SSF sector; promote capacity development; support towards sustainable resource utilisation and improved governance for artisanal and small-scale fisheries in Namibia.
Participants are exspected to establlish partnerships toward sustainable utilisation of natural resources and community co-governance for small-scale fisheries systems in Namibia. The event will also provide a platform for small-scale fishers and fish workers, to share experiences, exchange knowledge and tools toward building stronger resilience and promoting food security, nutrition, eradicating poverty and improving resource and community self- or co-governance, in line with the SSF Guidelines.
A major exspected output of the event involves the improvement of dissemination of SSF information to relevant stakeholders, strengthening relationships with the relevant partners and capacity-building for improved understanding of required governance and information on building together a sustainable fisheries sector and viable communities.
Small scale fisheries (SSF) in Namibia comprise marine and inland fisheries rivers, dams and iishana and play a critical role in the development of local economies within the 14 Regions. It is conservatively estimated that over 280,000 Namibians (11% of the country’s total population) are dependent on the small-scale fisheries sector for their livelihood. Livelihood support is in the form of income, employment, socio-economic benefits, food, nutrition security and cultural identity.
To further secure fish as an important source of food and nutrition security, Namibia actions a number of voluntary and binding national frameworks and agreements. The voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable SSF in the context of food security and poverty Eradication (the SSF Guidelines) are the first internationally agreed instrument dedicated to the small-scale fisheries sector.