By Dominic Sikopo
The newly opened offices of Fisheries and Marine Resources Ministry(MFMR) are expected to boost Aquaculture activities in the Caprivi region.
The offices which were built over a period of 21 months at a tune of over N$ 10 million, boast a regional office that will promote aquaculture in the region and assist in managing fish resources.
Senior Fisheries Biologist Mr. Damian Nchindo explained to CVNEWS that the Aquaculture regional offices will promote aquaculture activities by providing extension services and technical support to upcoming and existing small fish farmers.
Ministry is currently financially supporting Likunganelo Fish Farm .a pilot fish farm as the two other fish farms, Kalimbeza and Litapi, were closed down due to floods and need to be located to higher grounds when funds are availed.
According to Mr.Nchindo, MFMR plans to establish a fish and vegetable hub in Katima Mulilo in aim of adding value to the resource though the regional office and council that are still tasked with the process of Acquiring land for the construction of the market.
“The Ministry through the Spanish cooperation is in the process of establishing a hatchery in the region. The Funds are available but the process is delayed by availing of land.
Mr. Nchindo said once the land is availed construction will start adding that the establishment of a hatchery will alleviate the shortage of fingerlings which is currently the major problem.
“All water bodies around the region will be identified, mapped out and stocked with fingerling to increase fish production in the region and Namibia at large”, he said.
Mr. Nchindo revealed that the regional office, with the support of the Zambezi/Chobbe projects, is in the process of establishing fisheries reserves (Fish Protected Area), which will serve as fish breeding places.
The offices will also conduct Biological surveys in the rivers in order to monitor the fish catch per unit effort, species composition. Market surveys will also be set in motion to determine the tonnage of fish which enters and lives the market.
“No fishing activities takes place in exception of catch and release angling. The directorate will expand its awareness campaign on fisheries resource management.”
An aquarium at the offices will sample fish from rivers and floodplains in Caprivi. Schools, local Communities will be invited more often and information on fish composition, breeding cycles will be shared,” said Mr. Nchindo.