Namibia and South Africa have signed a fisheries Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), outlining how they will work together in various matters within the fisheries space as the two countries share a common border.
The MOU was signed by Minister Senzeni Zokwana, and his Namibian counterpart, Minister Bernard Essau, in the Namibian capital, according to a Thursday press release by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
South Africa, Namibia and Angola share one of the most productive ecosystems, the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). The collaboration of the three countries is historic and has involved international partners funding a number of significant projects in the BCLME region. This collaboration was later formalised through the Benguela Current Commission and has now been ratified into a convention.
Because of the common border between South Africa and Namibia co-management between the two is important.
Areas of cooperation, according to the MoU, will include research and development through a specialised joint working group for the evaluation, management and socio-economic study of shared marine resources.
Joint research will be carried out by both countries into the aquaculture and inland fisheries using advanced technology. Joint actions will also be pursued in safe guarding the oceans to reduce and eliminate the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Both countries will focus on capacity building and development as the Benguela Ecosystem presents a myriad of opportunities which require skills and experience. Cooperation on capacity building in regards to compliance systems on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS), including food safety systems, in fisheries and aquaculture is also planned.