The South African and Namibian governments have agreed to strengthen existing collaborations and potential cooperation in addressing areas of common interest on fisheries.
South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana and Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau met in Windhoek, Namibia ahead of the Ministerial Conference to be held on December 8, in Swakopmund, Namibia.
“We have a lot to learn from Namibia on how they have managed their fisheries industry. We are looking forward to exchanging policies and frameworks on fisheries issues that affect both nations,” said Zokwana.
They agreed in areas of common interests, such as Phosphate Mining; Illegal fishing; Seismic Surveys: and Capacity Development in the region.
The ministers discussed the exchange of scientists between the two countries on fisheries stock assessment in order to build an independent government capacity in this area of work.
The Department said that this would entail Namibia sending three of their fisheries stock assessment experts to South Africa, and South Africa in return sending three of their scientists to Namibia.
“Namibia has had meaningful transformative allocation of the fisheries rights through a program of “Namibianisation of Fisheries” in a manner that empowers and give recognition to the disadvantaged indigenous people, particularly women and the youth,”said Esau.
The ministers also undertook to do joint research surveys between South Africa and Namibia for the monitoring of trans-boundary fish stocks.
The countries are expected to finalise a Memorandum of understanding by the end of November to formalise this collaboration.