Results for Aquaculture and Fisheries
Due to the non‐involvement of the Directorate of Veterinary Services in aquaculture and fisheries, this topic was not included in the Results of Chapter I to IV above, but is handled separately:
A meeting was held with the aquatic animal health contact point, Dr. Bronwen Currie, who came from Swakopmund to Windhoek to meet with us and the DVS. She had recently attended the OIE General Session, in May 2008, as well as a workshop on disease notification held by the OIE in Maputo. She was very enthusiastic about the OIE activities and was rapidly becoming familiar with OIE obligations. She indicated that she is soon to submit her first aquatic animal health report via the VS office to the OIE.
The aquaculture industry in Namibia is very recent, it started in 2003. In 2002 they received a consultancy from FAO identifying their needs and opportunities. Namibia is also in the process of developing an Aquaculture Act, currently being drafted. They are also drafting the proper regulations for trade in aquatic animals and products.
Currently Namibia does not have diagnostic capabilities for aquatic animal diseases, and Dr. Currie expressed an interest in submitting a proposal for a twinning exercise aimed at establishing basic diagnostic capabilities. Currently, the industry is using professional laboratories in RSA for support.
There are two distinctly different aquaculture industries in Namibia at the moment: The saltwater industry, which is strictly run by the private sector; and the freshwater industry which is heavily subsidized by the government.
The saltwater industry represents mainly oyster, abalone and mussel farmers. They are located in Luderitz, Walvis Bay and Sandwich Bay, the three major coastal urban areas in Namibia. They have an Aquaculture Association, aiming mainly at meeting export requirements through regulations.
The freshwater sector is concentrated in the north of the country; it has a big government support and it is aimed at providing diversity of agriculture production to the communal system farmers in the northern territories. The emphasis is on capacity building for tilapia and catfish farming intended for personal consumption and local marketing. A 75% of the total Ministry of Fisheries budget is being devoted to this initiative. This freshwater system is currently being threatened by Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS), already detected in the Zambezi and the Okavango river system.