November 2002



Namibia has one of the most productive fishing grounds in the world, due primarily to the presence of the Benguela current. Up-welling caused by the current brings nutrient rich waters up from the depths that stimulate the growth of microscopic marine organisms. These in turn support rich populations of fish, which form the basis of the marine fisheries sector. As is the case in other up-welling systems, relatively few species dominate and their abundance can vary greatly in response to changing environmental conditions. Since Independence in 1990, the fishing industry has grown to become one of the pillars of the Namibian economy. Total production of marine species by year is summarised below.

Table 1: Harvest of the Main Commercial Species, 1992-2000 (tonnes)












Horse mackerel























































Deep-sea red crab






















Orange roughy & alphonsino











Rock lobster























































Source: Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR). Figures for 2001 are preliminary.

Marine catches are landed mainly at two major ports: Walvis Bay and Luderitz. The absence of an artisanal sector makes monitoring of catches relatively easy. The table below lists the landings in 2000 at each of these two ports by main commercial species.

Table 2: Approximate landings in 2000 for each of Namibia's main landing ports, with main target species listed in order of importance


Total landings (tonnes)

 Walvis Bay



Per cent


Per cent

Horse mackerel






























Deep-sea red crab












Orange roughy & alphonsino






Rock lobster































Inland freshwater fisheries are important in less arid areas such as the Caprivi and Okavango regions in the north-east. Namibia's perennial rivers provide over 1 million hectares of flood-plain wetlands with fisheries potential, varying by season to between 6-8,000 tonnes per annum. About 50% of the rural population live in the northern regions and derive food, income and informal employment from inland fish resources.


Namibia's aquaculture sector is in its infancy, but studies show that is has considerable development potential. Commercial marine aquaculture is based on oysters, mussels and seaweed production in the Lüderitz area. Oysters are also grown in salt-ponds and in the sea around Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Over 70% of current production of oysters is exported to South Africa.
Commercial freshwater aquaculture of tilapias and catfishes is currently undertaken at Hardap. There are also small-scale operations raising fingerlings for sale to small-scale aquaculture ventures at Ongwediva Rural Development Centre and Omahenene.

Figure 1: Map of Namibia showing main locations mentioned above.


Namibia's key fisheries institution is the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR). Established in 1991 and located in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, it had from its inception a very clear fisheries management focus. Until 1998 the Ministry consisted of two Directorates: the Directorate of Resource Management, responsible for scientific research and advice; and the Directorate of Operations, responsible for monitoring, control and surveillance, and also initially responsible for administration and a range of other functions including economics. A third Directorate, the Directorate of Policy Planning and Economics, was established in 1998 to strengthen the policy and planning functions of the Ministry. Each directorate comprises of divisions, subdivisions and or units to guarantee efficiency and productivity.
In addition to the tree Directorates, a specialised division coordinates fisheries co-operation with states within the Southern African development Community (SADC) and a General Services Division is responsible for matters relating to finance, personnel, transport and other auxiliary services.
A Directorate for Aquaculture should be established during 2003.

Figure 2: Structure of MFMR.


MFMR's Mission Statement is:
"To Strengthen Namibia's position as a leading fishing nation and contribute towards the achievements of our economic, social and conservation goals for the benefit of all Namibians"
Key objectives in achieving this mission are to:

  • Promote and regulate the optimal sustainable utilisation of living marine resources within the context of conserving marine ecosystems;

  • Establish a conducive environment in which the fishing industry can prosper and derive optimal income from marine resources;

  • Further Namibia's interest within the international fishing sector;

  • Provide professional, responsive and customer focused services;

  • Deliver services efficiently and effectively, providing best value for money; and

  • Continuously invest in human resource development.


Purpose of the Directorate: Provide advice needed to manage the sustainable utilisation and conservation of livening aquatic resources.
Objectives of the Directorate:

  • Provide scientific advice to enable Total Allowable Catches (TAC's) to be determined;

  • Provide advice so that policy on harvesting activity and techniques can be formulated; and

  • Provide advice on the inter-relationship of the environment and the impact this has on fish stocks.
The Directorate has two research centres:
  • The National Marine Information and Research Centre, (NatMIRC), located at Swakopmund, undertakes applied fisheries and environmental research, physical, biological and chemical oceanography, stock surveys and stock assessment research. NatMIRC's principle role is the provision of advice to MFMR on TACs for commercial stocks and other management measures. It also houses and coordinates regional research programmes such as BENEFIT and BCLME. Activities include applied research into aquaculture and inland fisheries. NatMIRC's research branch located at Luderitz mainly undertakes research on cape seals, seaweed and rock lobster, as well as undertaking regular commercial fish stock surveys and assessment.

  • Hardap Freshwater Research Institute, located at Hardap near Mariental, focuses on freshwater fish and invertebrate research, migrations of freshwater fishes using radio tagging methods, and the development of freshwater aquaculture techniques and assessment of candidate species.


Purpose of the Directorate: Regulate fisheries sector activity within the EEZ.
Objectives of the Directorate:

  • Restrict fishing activity to those entitled to do so;

  • Ensure that fishing activity is conducted within the legal and administrative guidelines;

  • Ensure that revenue from landings are correctly calculated; and

  • Ensure that landings of species caught outside Namibia's EZZ are done in accordance with provisions of international fisheries organisations of which Namibia is a member.

The Directorate is composed of two divisions: the Technical Services Division is responsible for aerial and surface patrol craft and operations, and the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Division which is responsible for operations of the two Fisheries Inspectorate Offices: one in Luderitz and one in Walvis Bay.


Purpose of the Directorate: To manage development of the fisheries sector both nationally and internationally, including fisheries administration.

Objectives of the Directorate:

  • Ensure that fisheries activity contributes Namibia's socio-economic development goals;

  • Create a conducive environment in which the fisheries sector can grow to its full potential;

  • Ensure that Namibia is properly represented internationally and that national fishery interests
    are protected;

  • Administer fisheries legislation and regulations;

  • Administer the collection of fees and levies generated by fishing activity; and

  • Manage the collection and preparation of information and fishery statistics.

The Directorate is composed of five Divisions namely: Policy and Planning, Economics, Fisheries Administration, Statistics and Fisheries Information Management. All staff of the Directorate are based at MFMR headquarters in Windhoek.


MFMR places very high emphasis on the development of human resources right across the board, from fishermen to vessel skippers, from research scientists to observers, inspectors and managers. Main courses run within the country include: the Fisheries Inspectors and Observers Course, the Commercial Sampling Programme for Fisheries Observers, the Cadet Programme for patrol boat officers and the Scientific Technical Assistance course. These courses are undertaken at the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI) at Walvis Bay and the Polytechnic of Namibia.



Policy for the marine fisheries sector is given in a White Paper entitled: Towards Responsible

Development of the Fisheries Sector (1991). It is based on four main strategies:

  • Rebuilding stocks;

  • Building a national industry;

  • Namibianisation, to ensure that the benefits of rebuilding stocks and building a fishing industry accrue substantially to Namibians through increasing ownership of companies and vessels by Namibians, new job creation and replacement of foreign labour by Namibian labour; and

  • Empowerment, to ensure an equitable balance of participation and increasing employment, especially for previously disadvantaged Namibians.

This successful management policy has worked well. Today Namibia is well known for the high quality of products it produces, which are sold on five continents. Today the marine fisheries sector is second only to the mining sector in terms of exports.


Inland fisheries policy is outlined in the White Paper on the Responsible Management of the Inland Fisheries of Namibia (1995). This aims to allow the exploitation of inland fish resources on a sustainable basis and at optimum levels. Resources are to be managed to ensure long-term food security to riparian populations who are involved in the management and control of the resources and to whom the benefits from the resources must accrue. This policy also aims to prevent harmful impacts on traditional fishers dependent on inland fisheries resources for food security by uncontrolled commercialisation of the resources, both directly by commercial fishing and through exploitation of the resources for tourism.
Current management strategies depend on traditional, regional and central authorities balancing demands for subsistence, tourism, aquaculture, and trade in food/aquarium fish species.


The Government of Namibia anticipates that sustainable aquaculture has a significant role to play in food security as well as providing socio-economic benefits to Namibians. Current policy for this developing sector is laid out in the policy paper: Towards the Responsible Development of Aquaculture (2001). The main objective is the responsible and sustainable development of aquaculture to achieve socio-economic benefits for all Namibians and to secure environmental

sustainability. The policy rests on four strategies:

  • Establishing an appropriate legal and administrative framework for aquaculture, including establishing systems of tenure and rights for commercial aquaculture;

  • Establishing appropriate institutional arrangements for aquaculture;

  • Maintaining genetic diversity and the integrity of the aquatic ecosystem; and

  • Enduring responsible aquaculture production practices.

Namibia has several factors in favour of developing marine aquaculture. Future development potential exists for the production of high-value species. Production advantages for marine aquaculture in Namibia include approximately 1,500 km of largely uninhabited coastline, unpolluted high quality marine waters, high natural primary productivity of the seawater, availability of inexpensive fish by-products from the established fish processing sector for inclusion in wet aqua-feeds, and well-established processing, packaging and marketing systems, due to the marine capture fisheries, that can be adapted for aquaculture purposes.
Government is currently involved in developing community-based intensive freshwater aquaculture in the Caprivi and Kavango Regions. The long-term strategy of this activity is to apply the lessons learned to other regions. Local species already adaptive to culture requirements shall be the first priority (e.g. catfish and tilapia).


In general, the Namibian marine fisheries sector does not receive subsidies from Government, with the exception of some rebates granted on fuel purchases. The fishing industry pays MFMR a resource rent in the form of quota levies in advance and upon acceptance by the right-holder of the quota allocated for a specific fishing season. Over and above the quota levy, right holders are required to pay a levy per tonne of fish landed to support research and training. This money is deposited in the Marine Resources Fund and its budget and use is approved by the Ministers responsible for Fisheries and Finance. Research costs of the Directorate of Resource Management are defrayed from the fund. Industry also contributes towards the costs associated with on-board observers.

The number of whitefish processing plants has grown from zero in 1991 to over 20 in 2002. Total capital investment in vessels and shore infrastructure, including new fish processing factories, has exceeded N$2 billion since 1990. Many Namibian fishing companies provide contributions to social development schemes throughout the country. On a continual basis, fishing companies provide money and other forms of assistance for the construction of schools, clinics and other much-needed civic facilities. The contribution to such worthy causes over the past 11 years is in excess of N$33 million as indicated in the table below.

Table 3: Indicative investments and socio-economic contributions made by right holders since Independence


Investments (N$)

Socio-economic contributions (N$)

Total (N$)













Small Pelagic




Large Pelagic












Rock Lobster








Note: A number of right holders in each fishery have yet to provide data, and therefore the above figures indicate the minimum level of investments and social contributions. Data are still being collated and a more comprehensive table will appear in future publications.


At Independence, fish consumption was estimated at 4 kg per person annually. This was one of the lowest levels in the world among fish-producing nations; well below the global average of 15-16 kg and the average consumption level for sub-Saharan Africa at that time of 9 kg per head. Since Independence, progress has been made in making fish available throughout Namibia, both by the private sector, involved in catching and marketing fish, and by the government through campaigns and programmes to make fish more available and to encourage Namibians to eat more fish. These efforts are already yielding results. Fish consumption was estimated in 1996 as having doubled since Independence to 8-9 kg per person annually.



4.1.1 Marine fisheries sector

Immediately after Independence Namibia established its EEZ through the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone of Namibia Act (no.3 of 1990). In 1992, the Sea Fisheries Act (no. 29 of 1992) became law, based on the 1991 White Policy Paper. Namibia subsequently signed up to a number of international fisheries conventions, agreements and arrangements, the most important

  • The Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (more commonly known as the "UN Fish Stocks Agreement" - ratified in 1998);

  • The FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (more commonly known as the "Compliance Agreement" - signed in 1998);

  • Ratification of the ICCAT convention in 1999, CCAMLR convention in 1999 and SEAFO convention in 2002;

  • The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

These new obligations resulted in the 1992 Act being replaced by the Marine Resources Act (Act no. 27 of 2000) on 1st August 2001. The new Act incorporates international best practice for fisheries management and incorporates the key elements of the international fisheries management instruments mentioned above. For any fisheries or international agreements entered into by Namibia, the Minister is empowered to make regulations necessary to give effect to such agreements. Texts of all conservation and management measures adopted under any international agreement to which Namibia is a party are published in the national Gazette, and thus such measures are then deemed to be a regulation as prescribed under the Act. Various regulations have been promulgated under the Act. These establish the terms and conditions for all vessels and fishers operating within Namibia's EEZ.

4.1.2 Inland fisheries and aquaculture

A draft Inland Fisheries Bill to provide an appropriate legal framework for the management and development of inland fisheries has been prepared and is expected to become law in 2003. A draft Aquaculture Bill has been prepared and it also is expected to become law in 2003.


The Namibian management regime for marine capture fisheries consists of a number of components that each plays a part in contributing to the fisheries management goals. Key features include: limited access through the setting fishing rights, establishing total allowable catches (TACs) for all major commercial species, allocation of individual quotas, and a system of fees. Key elements of the system are outlined below.

4.2.1 Fishing rights

Fishing rights, or harvesting rights of exploitation, are the central element of the fisheries management regime. The Marine Resources Act 2000 states that "No person shall … harvest any marine resource for commercial purposes, except under a right…" The main purpose of fishing rights is to limit entry to the fisheries sector in order to protect the fisheries resources and maintain sustainable operations.

Fishing rights are granted for a period of 7, 10, 15 or 20 years depending on various factors, in particular the level of investment and the level of Namibian ownership. The term of fishing rights has recently been expanded from 4, 7 and 10 years, mainly to promote stability of the sector.
Fishing rights are not freely transferable in Namibia. The main reason is the possibility that transfers of rights might seriously threaten the progress made in the goals of Namibianisation and empowerment. The lack of capital of previously disadvantaged Namibians meant that they could not compete for fishing rights on an even footing with the previous right holders. The intention was not to go through a restructuring of the industry in the direction of Namibian control and broader participation, only to see rights simply revert to the previous holders through trading.

Table 4: Fishing seasons and number of right holder for the main species


Fishing season

Right holders


1st May – 30th April



1st May – 30th April


Horse mackerel

1st Jan. – 31st Dec.



1st Jan. – 31st Aug.


Rock lobster

1st Nov. – 30th Apr.



1st Jan. – 31st Dec.


Orange roughy

1st May – 30th April



1st Jan. – 31st Dec.

}            19


1st Jan. – 31st Dec.


1st July – 15th Nov.


Notes: Swordfish and albacore are both part of the large pelagic fishery and the TACs for those species are decided by ICCAT

4.2.2 Total allowable catches

Total allowable catches (TACs) are set for all the major species. These are based on recommendations from the fisheries scientists employed by the Ministry. The purpose with the TACs is to ensure sustainable fishing operations; that the level of fishing effort does not undermine the status of each stock. In most cases, this has been successful. Most stocks are increasing in size, although pilchard and orange roughy continue to face problems. The history of TAC's in Namibia is indicated in the table below.

Table 5: TACs set by year, 1991 - 2002 (tonnes).




Horse Mackerel


Rock Lobster


Orange Roughy



40 000

60 000

150 000








60 000

60 000

465 000


6 000

1 200





80 000

90 000

450 000


6 000






115 000

120 000

450 000


4 900






125 000

150 000

500 000


4 900






40 000

150 000

400 000

(50 000)

3 000






20 000

170 000

400 000

(90 000)

2 500






25 000

120 000

350 000

(100 000)

2 000


10 000

12 000



65 000

165 000

 375 000

(75 000)

2 000



12 000



45 000

275 000

375 000

(50 000)

2 000



6 000



25 000

194 000

410 000

(50 000)

2 000



2 400



10 000

200 000

410 000

   (50 000)

2 100




13 000



195 000

350 000

(40 000)

2 200



2 400

12 000

Notes: Figures in brackets indicate the portion of the TAC (column immediately to the left) of juvenile horse mackerel caught for fish meal. Regarding the hake TAC in 1999, there was a change-over for the hake fishing year from a calendar year to the period May-April. As a consequence an interim TAC of 65 000 was given for the period January to April 1999, followed by a TAC of 210 000 for the new fishing year May 1999- April 2000.

4.2.3 Individual quotas

Once a TAC has been set for a fishing season, it is distributed among the right holders in each fishery in the form of quotas. The main purpose with the quota allocation is to promote economic efficiency - to give companies sufficient knowledge about expected catch levels for the year for proper planning of their fishing activities. Quotas are not permanently transferable for the same reasons that rights are not transferable.

4.2.4 Fishing licences

Flag state control over fishing vessels is enhanced by the requirement for all vessels to first obtain a licence in order to fish commercially within Namibia's EEZ. A specific licence must also be obtained in order to use a Namibian flag vessel to harvest any marine resources in any waters outside of the Namibian EEZ. A monthly or annual permit is required for recreational fishing.

4.2.5 Fees

Fees form an important part of Namibian fisheries management. Their role is twofold; firstly, to earn revenue for the government, and secondly to create incentives that work towards the goals of the management system, both conservation and Namibianisation.

Quota fees

Quota fees are by far the most important of all the fees. They are payable on allocated quota, regardless of whether or not the fish is landed. However, companies are given the opportunity around the middle of the fishing season to return quota they do not expect to catch. Quota fees contribute about ¾ of the total amount collected from the industry. Quota fees give incentives to use Namibian labour, both on vessels and by landing the fish for onshore processing. Also, the use of Namibian-owned vessels is encouraged through preferential rates. Quota fees form a significant revenue component for the government.

By-catch fees

Each right holder receives a quota for one target species. Discarding of any edible and marketable fish is prohibited, thus all fish caught must be landed, whether they are target species or by-catch species. Landed by-catch species incur a by-catch fee. By-catch fees are set at rates designed to deter right holders from targeting species for which they do not have a quota, but to still make it profitable to land truly incidental by-catch. The use of fees avoids the complications associated with setting quotas for more than one species in a fishery. The ban on discarding also makes it easier to monitor all catches taken by right holders.

Marine Resources Fund levy

The Marine Resources Fund (MRF) finances the research activities of the Ministry as well as a number of training initiatives. A small fee is charged on all landings and that fee goes to this fund. While the Ministry controls the expenditures of the MRF, the quota and by-catch fees go directly to the public coffers and is not under the control of MFMR.

License fees

Fishing companies pay a nominal licensing fee for vessels . Fishing vessels must have a license issued by MFMR to be able to catch fish in Namibian waters. Each year between 300 and 350 vessels are licensed by MFMR. In addition, under the new Marine Resources Act, Namibian flagged vessels may not harvest fish outside the Namibian EEZ unless they have a license from MFMR. This is to ensure that Namibian fishing vessels do not participate in any illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

4.2.6 Subsidies

The fishing industry in Namibia is not subsidised. Namibia is opposed subsidies on the grounds that they cause over-capitalisation which leads to over-fishing and because subsidies distort trade unfairly. Instead the Namibian fishing sector is taxed through the fees system. This was one of the attractions of developing a rights based system. On the one hand, the application of a rights based should lead to healthier stocks, improved compliance and a more efficient industry that can earn healthy profits. On the other hand, the limiting of access and definition of defined levels of fishing for each participant provide a basis for extracting some of the profits.

4.2.7 Foreign access

There is no direct access for foreign interests to participate in fishing in Namibia except in terms of the process for the granting of fishing rights described above. There are no fishing access agreements with other states, and no foreign vessels can be licensed except under the terms of a fishing right. Foreign interests are entitled to apply for fishing rights under the Marine Resources Act in the normal way. In this way, foreign interests are treated for the purposes of fisheries management in the same way as Namibian interests except that there is a preference in terms of rights, quotas and quota fees for Namibian controlled ventures. Joint venture between Namibian and foreign interests are welcomed.

4.2.8 Industry development measures

Fee rebates apply for Namibian vessels, Namibian crew and processing on-shore. Compulsory levels of on-shore processing apply (the hake TAC is currently issued 60% as wet-fish quota, which is landed on ice for on-shore processing and 40% as 'freezer quota, which is processed at sea by freezer-trawlers). In support of Namibianisation and empowerment polices, preference in the allocation of rights and quotas is given to Namibian controlled ventures.

4.2.9 Monitoring control and surveillance

Namibia's MCS system has evolved over the years into what is today widely regarded by the international community as a very effective system. A crucial element has been the support given by the post-Independence Government in the form of financial, human and material resources given to national MCS systems. The costs of MCS and other management related activities to both Government and the fishing industry has been kept commensurate with the value of the resource. From 1994 to 1997, the full cost to the Namibian government of fisheries management, including the full cost of all fisheries research and MCS (including the observer and port inspection aspects) was about constant at 6% of landed value, falling to 4.9% in 1998 and 3.6% in 1999, due to increasing value of landed catch. This cost is appropriate to the economic value of the fisheries sector and very reasonable when compared with the cost of other comprehensive and effective fisheries management systems elsewhere in the world.

An integrated programme of inspection and patrols at sea, on land and in the air ensures continuing compliance with Namibia's fisheries laws. The major features of the programme are described below.

On-board observer programme

Virtually complete coverage of larger vessels by an onboard observer ensures compliance and the collection of scientific data. The establishment of the new Fisheries Observer Agency will further improve the national observer programme.

Sea, air and shore patrols

Systematic sea patrols, largely directed at ensuring compliance with fishing conditions by licensed vessels through regular at-sea inspections. Air patrols detect and deter unlicensed fishing vessels and monitor the movement and operations of the licensed fleet. Shore patrols ensure compliance by both recreational and commercial fishers with conservation measures for inshore resources.

Monitoring of landings

Complete monitoring of all landings at the two commercial fishing ports: Walvis Bay and Luderitz by onshore by inspectors to ensure that quota limits and fee payments are complied.

Marking of vessels and gear

Fishing vessels and fishing gear must be marked to identify the owner of the gear in accordance with national regulations. The regulations are based on the FAO Standard Specifications for the Marking of Fishing Gear and the FAO Standard Specifications for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels. Any fishing vessel not licensed to fish in Namibian waters must have its fishing gear stowed or secured while in Namibian waters.

Reporting obligations

All vessels are required to supply notification reports for entry to or exit from a port or the EEZ. Advance notification must be given for landings and trans-shipments. Trans-shipment is not permitted outside a Namibian port. Vessels obtain a clearance certificate before leaving port. Daily catch and effort reports in the form of vessel log-sheets are required. Commercial operators must also provide monthly data returns on harvesting, processing, transport, transport ands disposition of fish. Annual data on income, expenditure and other economic factors must be supplied.

Vessel monitoring system

Namibia is well advanced in implementing a national satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS). The system once fully operational will provide benefits for fisheries management in the form of improved real time monitoring of vessel movement and activities. The chosen system is already in use in the UK, Germany, USA, Morocco, and, closer to home, South Africa and Mozambique.

4.2.10 Protected species

Except in terms of a right, an exploratory right or an exemption granted under section 62(1)(a) of the Act, a person may not harvest any species of marine mammal other than the Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) or any species of marine turtle. It is forbidden to kill, disturb or maim any penguin (Spheniscidae), grebe (Podicipedidae), albatross (Diomedeidae), petrel, shearwater or prion (Procellariidae), storm petrel (Oceanitidae), pelican (Pelecanidae), gannet (Sulidae), cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae), darter (Anhingidae), heron, egret or bittern (Ardeidae), ibis or spoonbill (Plataleidae), flamingo (Phoenicopteridae), duck or goose (Anatidae), rail, crake, moorhen or coot (Rallidae), jacana (Jacanidae), oystercatcher (Haematopodidae), plover (Charadriidae), turnstone, sandpiper, stint, snipe, curlew or phalarope (Scolopacisae), avocet or stilt (Recurvirostridae) or skua, gull or tern (Laridae) or the eggs of any of those marine resources; or kill or maim any great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). A person who accidentally takes a specimen of any of these marine resources must return it immediately to the sea, or to any other place from which it was harvested or taken, with as little injury as possible.


5.1 HAKE

Hake-directed fishing in Namibia comprises three main components: (a) a demersal freezer trawl fishery of around 22 vessels in the 500 - 1,600 GRT range; (b) a demersal wetfish trawl fishery of around 90 vessels in the 100 - 700 GRT range; and (c) a demersal wetfish longline fishery of around 30 vessels, in the 60 - 350 GRT range, most of which are tuna pole-and-line vessels with allocations of 300 tonnes of hake annually, largely supplying fresh hake on ice for air freight to Europe. These demersal long-liners also take smaller quantities of highly valuable kingclip and snoek. In addition, hake is taken as a by-catch by the demersal monk and trawl fishery and the mid-water horse mackerel trawl fishery. Pelagic long-liners targeting tunas are not allowed to fish for hake.

The principal species is shallow-water cape hake (Merluccius capensis) and deep-water hake (M. paradoxus), caught in deeper water. Most fishing for Cape hake takes place between 15o and 30o south latitude. Deep-water hake fishing occurs mostly south of 30o south latitude in deeper waters. Hake resources are shared with South Africa.

5.1.1 Management measures

  • An Operational Management Procedure is in place to guide the setting of TAC.

  • Area restrictions (trawling is not permitted in less than 200 m depth).

  • 110mm limit on cod-end mesh size.

  • No beam-trawls allowed.

  • Technical measures relating to attachments to the trawl net e.g. chafers, flappers and round

  • Type-approved selectivity devices are required to reduce the proportion of juvenile hake in catches.

5.1.2 Representative body

Namibian Hake Fishing Association.

5.1.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

This sector has seen a steady increase in total landings since the early nineties. Management of hake stocks backed up by stock surveys and assessment has been a priority area for MFMR since 1990. Management measures designed to re-build stocks are showing results, although inter-annual variations in catch rates largely as a result of environmental variations caused by the Benguela system are common. Supply will be maintained and gradually increased as stocks grow towards their MSY level.

Exports include fresh and frozen round, gilled/gutted and processed forms (fillets, steaks etc). The bulk of Namibian hake is exported to Spain, where it is then distributed to other markets on the European continent. Hake is also exported to Australia and USA. Demand is high for both frozen and wet-fish products in Namibia's traditional markets and can be expected to increase. Supply of whole wet fish on ice to Spain, mostly from the longline fishery, is a valuable niche market that may expand if transport links improve and prices increase.


The monk and sole fishery initially commenced as a by-catch to the hake fishery with catches of up to 14,000 tonnes in the early 1980s. A fleet of 18 smaller freezer trawlers fish more inshore for monkfish (Lophius spp.), sole and kingclip (Genypterus capensis) and cape hake, operating out of both Walvis Bay and Luderitz.

5.2.1 Management measures

  • Minimum mesh size in the body of the net not less than 110 mm and not less than 75 mm in the cod-end (except vessels less than 32 m in length, 180 GRT and powered by less than 800 horsepower, licensed to catch any demersal species before 1990 which are allowed to use 75 mm mesh in the cod-end).

  • Area restrictions (trawling is not permitted in less than 200 m depth).

  • No beam-trawls allowed.

  • Technical measures relating to attachments to the trawl net e.g. chafers, flappers and round straps.

  • High by-catch fees are applied to reduce monkfish by-catch taken by the hake-directed fishing fleet.

5.2.2 Representative body

Namibian Monk and Sole Association.

5.2.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Monkfish and sole are exported to France, Italy, Japan, and China. The fishery has matured and catches stabilised in recent years. Future demand is likely to remain strong. Growth in supply will only be possible if the stock continues to grow towards MSY.


A small experimental deep-water trawl fishery commenced in 1994 in the southern region of the Namibian EEZ, targeting orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) and alfonsino (Beryx splendens). The distribution of trawling extended northwards in 1995, when two fishing grounds, Hotspot and Johnies, were located. The two other known grounds, Rix and Frankies, were discovered in 1996 and further developed during 1997 and 1998. The fishery is currently based on three fishing grounds: Hotspot, Rix and Johnies, with Frankies closed to fishing since April 1999.

General aggregations occur between June and August. The characteristics of the species and its aggregating patterns make it susceptible to over-fishing, hence a precautionary management scheme has been developed for this new fishery.

Five deep-water trawlers are currently licensed and land mostly at Walvis Bay. A significant proportion of the total catch is taken outside Namibian waters, in the adjacent SEAFO area, the high seas or other states waters through fishing arrangements.

5.3.1 Management measures

  • Four Quota Management Areas (QMAs) have been established, one of which is closed. Each is a square 50nm by 50nm about the centres of aggregation for orange roughy.

  • Separate TACs are set for each QMA.

  • Minimum mesh size: 110 mm.

  • Area restrictions (trawling is not permitted in less than 200 m depth).

  • 110mm limit on cod-end mesh size.

  • No beam-trawls allowed.

  • Technical measures relating to attachments to the trawl net e.g. chafers, flappers and round straps.

5.3.2 Representative body


5.3.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Orange roughy and small amounts of alfonsino are exported to USA. Future demand will remain strong, but supply will be determined by the growth of the stock, allowing the TAC to be increased.


Twenty-six mid-water trawlers in the 62-120 m length range are licensed to fish for horse mackerel (Trachurus capensis). The fishery is capital intensive requiring large, powerful stern trawlers capable for towing large mid-water trawls. Fishing is concentrated north of Walvis Bay, and is shared with Angola and South Africa, to the Agulhas Bank. The mid-water fleet targets adult fish (>20 cm).

Of the around 400,000 tonnes TAC set for horse mackerel about 50,000 tonnes is allocated to the pelagic purse-seine fleet and the balance goes to the mid-water trawl fleet each season. The allocation to the pelagic fleet is a 'global quota', available to any pelagic right holder that wishes to catch horse mackerel for production of meal and oil. The pelagic fleet tends to target juvenile horse mackerel between January and March each year. The fleet then switches to pilchard at the start of the pilchard season on March 1st. In 2002 a zero TAC was declared for pilchard, thus more horse mackerel was made available to the pelagic fleet for meal production as relief measure.

Other species besides horse mackerel are also taken for production of meal and oil, including anchovy, red eye (Etrumeus whiteheadi), lanternfish (Lampanyctodes hectoris) and lightfish (Maurolicus muelleri).

5.4.1 Management measures for the mid-water fleet

  • Area restrictions (no trawling in less than 200m depth).

  • Minimum cod-end mesh size : 60mm

  • Leave an area if: (a) Proportion of hake by-catch in a single haul landed on deck exceeds 5% (by weight) of a haul; and (b) Proportion of horse mackerel less than 17cm total length for any net landed on board exceeds 5% (by weight); (c) any pilchard by-catch is caught.

5.4.2 Management measures for the purse-seine fleet

  • To leave an area immediately, if proportion of pilchard by-catch in a single haul landed on deck exceeds 5% (by weight) per haul;
  • To leave an area, or have the area closed, if the proportion of any catch of horse mackerel below 12.5 cm total length exceeds 5% per set by weight.

5.4.3 Representative body

Mid-water Trawling Association.

5.4.4 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Adult horse mackerel taken by the mid-water trawl fleet is frozen at sea. Approximately 70% of the horse mackerel landings go to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the balance to South Africa and other African countries within the SADC region. A growing proportion is also salted and dried ashore for the local market and neighbouring countries. Fish meal produced from horse mackerel is sold to South Africa. Stock status appears resilient but varies strongly with fluctuations in the Benguela current. Long-term predictions for supply are positive with increasing demand within the SADC region.


A fleet of 30 purse-seiners (21-47 m length range) target pilchard (Sardinops ocellatus) for canning. The pilchard stock is shared with Angola. Other species that are also taken for fishmeal include juvenile (<20 cm) horse-mackerel (as described above) and anchovy (Engraulis capensis), which occurs sporadically in Namibian waters. Fishing trips occur relatively close to shore and last up to one week due to the need to process the fish early to maintain high quality.
Namibia's pilchard stock has not progressed as well as others to measures designed to re-build stocks. Recent recruitment levels have apparently been largely influenced by environmental factors, including predation by jellyfish. Caches have declined rapidly in recent years from 68,600 tonnes in 1998 to 29,700 tonnes in 2000. A zero TAC was declared for the fishery in 2002, pending recovery of the spawning stock biomass. In most years, landings are made mostly to canneries at Walvis Bay.

5.5.1 Management measures

  • Minimum mesh size:12.7mm.

  • Pilchard by-catch limitations (for the horse mackerel mid-water fleet).

  • Fishing season 1 January - 31 August.

5.5.2 Representative body

Pelagic Fishing Industry Association.

5.5.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Most of the pilchard quota is used for canning, 90% of canned product is sold to South Africa. Small quantities are also sold for bait or processed into fish-meal. Demand is high for canned market. Supply will depend on the degree to which the pilchard stock can recover from its currently low level of biomass.


A fleet of 56 tuna vessels utilising long-line and pole-and-line gear are licensed to target tunas and tuna-like species. Pelagic sharks are also taken. Landings are made exclusively at Luderitz.
The pole-and-line fishery lasts from December until May with over 90% of the catch being albacore (Thunnus alalunga) and a very small amount of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus). The fishery occurs around Tripp Seamount, 120 miles west north-west of the mouth of the Orange River. Catches often peak in March and April. Around 36 South African pole-and-line vessels operate under arrangements negotiated with Namibian right holders each year.

Longline vessels target bigeye tuna from June until November with higher catches in September in the north, from 19o south latitude to the Cunene River. There is provision for up to 54 foreign flag licences available for the large pelagic long-line fishery targeting swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and other tunas. Only eight South African vessel operators are currently making use of this opportunity, but others are free to negotiate access to the fishery.

Namibia is a member of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and participates fully in regard to regional assessment and management for these species. A National Plan of Action for sharks has been prepared, in support of the FAO International Plan of Action for Sharks.

5.6.1 Management measures

  • The ICCAT Catch Documentation Scheme is in force.

  • ICCAT issues TAC's for swordfish and other tunas.

  • Gear restrictions (long-line, pole-and-line only).

  • Value-added processing is a licence condition for pole-and-line vessels.

  • Limited entry (number of licences) for long-line fishery.

5.6.2 Representative body

Namibian Tuna and Hake Long-lining Association.

5.6.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

The fishery targets highly migratory species, thus stock status depends on regional management arrangements organised by ICCAT. Supply is optimistic for species such as swordfish that has high local and export demand, demanding on continued quota allocations from ICCAT. Catches are exported to Spain, USA and Japan.


The deep-sea red crab (Chaceon maritae) fishery started in 1973 with three vessels. Two vessels were licensed in 2000 in this small but valuable fishery. Japanese-style baited traps are used on demersal long-lines with 400-500 traps set per line. Soak-time is usually 24-120 hours. The stock is shared with Angola and Namibia has initiated joint research activities. The highest density of crab is in the north-eastern part of its distribution, from the Angolan border down to 18o south latitude, from 350-960 m depth. Research on deep-sea red crab indicates that stock size continues to grow slowly. Catches since 1998 have been close to the TAC of 2,000 tonnes set for the fishery.

5.7.1 Management measures

  • Only traps allowed.

  • Minimum carapace width of 85 mm.

  • No fishing allowed in less than 400 metres depth.

5.7.2 Representative body


5.7.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Deep-sea red crab is processed on board into various products. Larger crabs are used to produce sections and claw products, medium sized crabs are processed into legs, while smaller crabs and are used to produce crab flake. Japan is the main market, where demand is expected to remain steady or increase. Supply will depend largely on the degree to which the stock biomass continues to increase. Closer co-operation with Angola on research and eventually harmonised management arrangements would see the stock growing at a greater rate.


The small but highly valuable fishery for rock lobster (Jasus Ialandii) is based in the southern port of Lüderitz. The species is distributed from Luderitz to Cape Cross around Cape Hope to Algoa Bay in Cape Province, South Africa. The stock sustained relatively constant catches of up to 9,000 tonnes per year for a 46 year period from 1922, until the fishery collapsed in the late 1960s. It has not fully recovered to its pre-1960's level. Since Independence the annual TAC has always been below 500 tonnes. Twenty-nine 7-21 m craft are currently licensed and use baited lobster traps. Dinghies operate from the lobster vessels on a daily basis, setting baited traps in depths up to 80m, especially in two key areas near Luderitz, close to shore. The catch is delivered to catcher reefers to take to shore for processing. Main product forms are frozen whole lobster and tails.
The rock lobster stock is showing signs of continued growth but adverse environmental conditions such as reduced oxygen and sulphur emissions, plus the impact of diamond mining may be having an adverse impact on stock recovery. The TAC set for the fishery has generally increased slowly year on year, from 130 tonnes in 1994 to 400 tonnes in 2002. Annual catches in recent years have been below the TAC, primarily due to rough sea conditions that inhibit the feeding behaviour of lobster and therefore their tendency to enter the traps. Catches taken by recreational fishing are not considered in the TAC.

5.8.1 Management measures

  • Size limitation (65 mm carapace length).

  • Closed season 1 May - 31 October.

  • No berried (egg bearing) females to be landed.

  • Two closed areas.

  • For commercial fishing, only ring nets or traps may be used (no minimum mesh size or escape mechanisms are required in the traps).

  • The catch must be graded immediately when brought on board and small lobsters returned to the sea.

  • Landings must be made at a jetty in Luderitz, for ease of monitoring.

  • For the recreational fishery: free diving, ring nets and hook and line are the only allowable methods. No harvesting allowed between sun-set and sun-rise.

5.8.2 Representative body

Namibian Rock Lobster Fishing Association.

5.8.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Fishery will continue to be directed at supplying high value export markets e.g. Japan, currently the main market. Past trend in increasing demand expected to continue in most markets. Supply should increase as the stock continues to grow towards MSY, estimated to be 2,000-3000 tonnes.


Two commercial components comprise: (a) a fleet of between 10 and 13 'ski-boats', employing 6-8 crew per boat and fishing near the shore in the vicinity of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, and (b) a fleet of 26 industrial linefish vessels each employing around 12 crew, operating out of Walvis Bay and fishing mainly off-shore along the Skeleton Coast. Linefish vessels have traditionally targeted kob, but in recent years the vessels have increasingly targeted snoek and other species. Commercial operators sell line-fish on the local market as well as exporting, largely to South Africa.

Recreational 'rock-and-surf' angling is also very important on a seasonal basis. Some ski-boats also take recreational fishermen out on a charter basis. The recreational fishery targets many of the species targeted by the 'line-fish' fishery: kob also known as kabeljou (Argyrosomus spp.), west-coast steenbras also known as white fish, (Lithognathus aureti), galjoen (Dichistius capensis), blacktail also known as dassie, (Diplodus sargus), and snoek (Thyrsites atun). Other important recreational species include barbel (Galeichthys feliceps) and sharks (principally cow shark (Notorynchus cepedianus), bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus), spotted gullyshark (Triakis megalopterus) and smooth hound (Mustelus mustelus).

5.9.1 Management measures

  • Closed areas.

  • Bait restrictions.

  • Gear restrictions: hook and line, ring net or free-diving only.

  • Recreational fishery: monthly or annual permit required, daily bag and size limits, sale of fish is prohibited.

5.9.2 Representative body

No formal national body, although a number of recreational angling associations exist.

5.9.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Local demand for linefish species is increasing, for both home consumption as well as sales to local hotels and restaurants. Namibia's increasing popularity as a tourist destination is expected to increase demand for line fish, especially kob and steenbras. Research indicates that the target linefish species, especially kob and west-coast steenbras, are under pressure, hence new regulations were introduced in late 2001 to control the recreational sector.


Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) are also harvested around Cape Cross, Wolf's Bay and Atlas Bay. Harvests have risen from 29,500 seals in 1998 to nearly 42,000 in 2000.

5.10.1 Management measures

  • 3-year rolling TAC (currently pups and bulls animals).

  • Season 1 July - 15th November.

  • Strict harvesting practices.

  • Fisheries Inspectors present at each harvesting location.

5.10.2 Representative body


5.10.3 Projection of supply and demand (for next 25 years)

Namibia's Constitution upholds sustainable use of all natural resources for the benefit of Namibians. Namibia maintains that developing countries must be allowed to utilise all natural resources, for food as well as socio-economic gains, as long as this is done in a responsible and sustainable manner. Seal population numbers have been stable or have increased in recent years. New business developments should see increasing exports of seal products for direct human consumption. Demand for seal leather items and seal oil is strong. The prediction for future supply is positive.


A number of rights have been granted to investigate the viability of developing new fisheries from hitherto under-exploited species. As of 2002, eight experimental right holders were active, as summarised below.

Table 6: Target species and experimental gear used.

 Target species

Approved gear





Rock lobster

Traps (central region)





Ribbonfish, John Dory







The Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) serves to advise the Minister on the management and development of marine fisheries in Namibia and on any other matter that the Minister may refer to the Council for investigation and advice. The Minister is required to consult the Council before setting TAC's for the various marine commercial species. Members of the Council are drawn from the private sector, including the fishing industry, as well as public sector organisations.

A Fisheries Management Committee (FMC) also acts in an advisory capacity on fisheries management issues. Members are technical staff members of MFMR. In formulating recommendations, the FMC critically reviews all available information from sources including: scientific advice, socio-economical evaluations and predictions, monitoring control and surveillance reports and recommendations from the Marine Fisheries Advisory Council. All advice is provided in line with guidelines given in related government policy.

A Fisheries Observers Agency was established under the Marine Resources Act in 2001. it istasked with administering and managing the Fisheries Observer Programme. Eventually, all aspects of the MFMR Fisheries Observer Programme will be outsourced to the Agency.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is responsible for trade promotion, relations and regulation, as well as industrial development. Its mandate includes all sectors of the Namibian economy, including the fishing industry. Two MTI Directorates have the greatest actual (or potential) involvement in fisheries. The Directorate of Internal Trade's responsibilities include standards and quality control of fisheries products. The Directorate of International Trade's responsibilities include trade promotion, trade missions and fairs.

MTI has delegated the South African Bureau of Standards, a South African parastatal, with responsibility for quality control standards and inspection of Namibia's fisheries production. SABS has established standards for many fish products, e.g. canned fish, frozen lobster, hake fillets etc and inspects fish processing factories and fish products on a fee for service basis. SABS issues heal certificates for fish exports.

Members of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry includes affiliated chambers of commerce and business organisations, which have in turn individual companies as their members. Corporate members include several fishing and seafood marketing companies. The Chamber serves to: provide a forum of discussion between business persons on matters of common concern; represent the views of commerce and industry to Government; provide a range of services of benefit to its members; and provide assistance in setting up local and regional chambers.

The National Port Authority (NAMPORT) is responsible for providing, facilitating and promoting efficient and effective port and related services for sea borne trade between Namibia, its neighbours and their international trading partners as well as for the Namibian fishing and other offshore industries. Since its establishment in 1994 NAMPORT has managed both the Port of Walvis Bay and the Port of Lüderitz. NAMPORT also manages a Synchrolift (dry dock facility) at Walvis Bay that can lift vessels of up to 2000 tonnes for repairs.


MFMR habitually consults extensively with the industry bodies on matters before action is taken to adjust any aspect of policy or management strategy. The full involvement of industry is considered vital for the continued healthy development of Namibia's fisheries. It ensures that the views of stakeholders who have made such massive investments and whose livelihood is based on fisheries are heard and considered.

Main consultative mechanisms on policy and technical matters relating to industry development and economic issues are: (a) direct face to face meetings with individual companies or groups of companies for sector-specific matters; (b) through the various fishing associations; (c) through the annual consultation between the Minister and industry on the state of the fisheries sector; (d) through formal written communications from companies to the office of the Permanent Secretary, which are often referred to the FMC and/or the MRAC.

Consultation and peer review of research undertakings is facilitated through a number of working groups, e.g. the Hake Working Group and the Horse Mackerel Working Group. Industry representatives are members of such working groups. Industry vessels collaborate with MFMR scientists each year in undertaking stock surveys for pilchard, hake, horse mackerel and orange roughy.


Of highest priority for MFMR is summary information on:

  • Status of fish stocks;

  • Socio-economic parameters;

  • Compliance of right-holders to promises made in original right applications;

  • Compliance of right-holders to Marine Resources Fisheries Act and Regulations;

  • International fisheries issues; and

  • Performance of the Ministry in terms of its Mission Statement and mandate.

In producing summary documents on the above, the various Directorates and divisions of MFMR obtain data and information from various sources.

The Directorate of Resource Management is chiefly responsible for data capture and processing in regard to:

  • Catch and effort data - obtained from vessel log-sheets;

  • Stock biomass data - obtained through stock surveys and data from industry;

  • Data on age structure of fish stocks - obtained from biological data collected by on-board observers and during stock surveys;

  • Environmental data (including remote sensing data) - obtained from monitoring stations along the coast, as well as public access sources.

Since this directorate deals with the biggest quantity of data, procedures have been put in place to ensure that the data are of consistent high quality and properly managed.

The Directorate of Operations captures data from its MCS activities, including:

  • Vessel activities and movements - from vessel logbooks, aerial and surface patrol intelligence, vessel boardings;

  • Landings - from on-shore inspections at ports of unloading. Wet-fish and frozen-fish tally forms, plus harbour vessel to reefer tally forms are completed by the fisheries inspectors. Products frozen at sea are all weighed and converted to whole weights using prescribed conversion factors;

  • Violations of laws and regulations - from records of summons issued, court records and penalties handed down.

The Directorate supplies the Directorate of Resource Management with data on fishing effort and landings and scientific data collected by fishery observers, and the Directorate of Policy, Planning and Economics with data on landings, violations, etc.

The Directorate of Policy, Planning and Economics
is very much reliant on data collected and processed by other Directorates. It produces a number of report types, including:

  • Effort and landings, rights, quotas, licences, vessels and fees;

  • Policy and the decision making process;

  • Annual reports on the fisheries sector;

  • Specialised fisheries statistical reports;

  • Performance indicators for the fishing industry.

The reports produced are of value to both the management of the Ministry, the fishing industry, and other private sector and public sector institutions, both within Namibia and abroad.


6.3.1 Sector Co-ordinating Unit

Regional co-operation in fisheries with other states, especially in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, has been a priority of the Government since Independence. In 1991 Namibia was bestowed the task of hosting the SADC Sector Coordinating Unit (SCU) for Marine Fisheries and Resources, the main role of which has been to provide leadership and guidance to the region in the formulation, evaluation, management and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the marine fisheries sector. Although this function is currently being reintegrated into the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, as part of the SADC re-structuring process, Namibia will continue to support and co-ordinate many of the programmes developed by the SCU.

A major achievement is the SADC Protocol on Fisheries . This aims to promote responsible and sustainable use of the living aquatic resources and aquatic ecosystems within the SADC region. The Protocol will enter into force upon ratification by two-thirds of the SADC member States.

6.3.2 Establishment of INFOPECHE Unit

On 10th October 2001, Namibia signed a cooperation agreement with the International Fisheries Marketing Advisory Body, INFOPECHE. Under this agreement, an INFOPECHE Unit has been established in Windhoek that provides information and technical assistance in fish trade, marketing, processing and new innovations to INFOPECHE member states. Once fully operational, the Unit is expected to provide timely information regarding prices and trends in the marketplace and to stimulate greater trade in fish products regionally and internationally.

6.3.3 South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO)

The convention to establish SEAFO was the first to be signed following the establishment of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, signed by nine States in Namibia on 20 April 2001. SEAFO represents a major achievement in regional co-operation in the south-east Atlantic. Namibia became the first signatory nation to ratify the Convention in November 2001. The Convention has also been ratified by the European Community and will enter into force 60 days after the deposit of a third instrument of ratification with Namibia, as Depository. Namibia currently acts as the Interim Secretariat pending the establishment of the SEAFO Secretariat in Namibia.

SEAFO establishes a management regime for conservation and sustainable utilisation of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and other sedentary species in the high seas portion of FAO Statistical Area 47, but excluding those sedentary species that are subject to the fishery jurisdiction of coastal States and also tuna and tuna-like species because these fall under the jurisdiction of ICCAT.

Contracting Parties are required to provide the Interim Secretariat with the names and details of all vessels fishing in the SEAFO area. Each Contracting Party is also required to ensure that all fishing vessels and fishing research vessels flying its flag and authorised to fish in the Convention Area keep fishing logbooks and, where appropriate, a production logbook, storage plan or a scientific plan. Catches taken in the Convention Area are required on a monthly basis.

6.3.4 Benguela Environment Fisheries Interaction and Training Programme (BENEFIT)

This programme has established a research framework for biological and oceanographic investigation of the entire Benguela Current system. The principal focus of the programme is on resources and resource management research in support of the major fisheries of the three co-operating countries: Namibia, South Africa and Angola. Training of researchers is an important part of the programme as the lack of qualified personnel is a pressing problem in these countries.

6.3.5 Benguela Large Marine Ecosystem Programme (BCLME)

Launched in 2002, BCLME is of global significance, given the stance by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) to develop an ecosystem-wide approach to environmental research. The World Bank has provided a regional start-up GEF grant of US$500,000 for the development of this programme.

6.3.6 International Commission For The Conservation Of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

The rapid development of a thriving domestic tuna fishery provided the impetus for Namibia to join ICCAT in 1999, becoming the 28th member of the Commission. Namibia welcomes and supports the considerable effort that ICCAT is making in developing comprehensive management tools to deal with, inter alia, IUU fishing in the Atlantic.

Namibia is fully committed to implementing the ICCAT Catch Documentation Scheme for swordfish, bigeye tuna and bluefin and the ICCAT port inspection scheme. Training in this area is a priority area for MFMR.

6.3.7 Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

As a member of CCAMLR, Namibia is committed to the management and conservation of the marine resources of the Antarctic. The Namibian fishing industry is interested in fishing in CCAMLR's waters and is ready to participate responsibly in the harvesting of fishery resources, especially tooth fish.

Namibia recognises that the provision of accurate, reliable and timely data to the CCAMLR Secretariat and therefore complies fully with the CCAMLR Catch Documentation Scheme. Prior to the enactment of the Marine Resources Act (2000), there were occasional incidents of IUU vessels visiting Namibian ports to land toothfish and other deep-water species taken in high seas areas.

However since 2000, the new Act coupled with strict implementation of the Catch Documentation Scheme has resulted in a cessation of such incidents.

6.3.8 Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Namibia become the 129th member of the IOC became on 25 April 2001. The IOC is an important facilitator of international oceanographic research programmes and Namibia is involved in its various training, technical assistance and research activities.


Institution and contact details


Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR)

Head Office, Private Bag 13355,

Brendan Simbwaye Square, Block C,

Corner of Uhland & Goethe Streets,

Windhoek, Namibia.


Tel: +264 61 2059 (switch)

Fax: +264 61 233 286


Office of the Minister, sectoral policy, planning and economics, fisheries administration, legislative controls, data collection and analysis.

National Marine Information and Research Centre, (NatMIRC),

Strand Street, Box 912, Swakopmund.


Tel: +264 64 410 1000 (switch)

Fax: +264 64 404 385


Applied fisheries and environmental research, physical, biological and chemical oceanography, stock surveys and stock assessment, advice to MFMR on TACs for commercial stocks and other management measures, regional programmes and research collaboration, aquaculture and inland fisheries research and development.

Hardap Freshwater Research Institute, Private Bag 2116, Mariental.


Tel: +264 63 240 361

Fax: +264 63 242 643

Freshwater fish and invertebrate research, migrations of freshwater fishes using radio tagging, development of freshwater aquaculture techniques and assessment of candidate species.

NatMIRC Research Centre, Luderitz.


Tel: +264 63 202 415

Fax: +264 63 202 495

Branch of the Swakopmund head office.  Main research activities include seals, seaweed, rock lobster as well as regular commercial fish stock surveys and assessment work.

Fisheries Inspectorate Office, Box 394,



Tel: +264 63 202 905

Fax: +264 63 203 337

Monitoring, control and surveillance of marine commercial and recreational fisheries.

Fisheries Inspectorate Office, PO Box 1594, Walvis Bay.


Tel: +264 64 201 6111

Fax: +264 64 205 008

Monitoring, control and surveillance of marine commercial and recreational fisheries.

INFOPECHE Unit, Kenya House, 4th Floor, Robert Mugabe Avenue – Windhoek – Namibia.


Tel: +264 61 205 3112/3

Fax: +264 61 205 3041


Web page:

Provides timely information regarding prices and trends in the marketplace and stimulates greater intra-regional and international trade in fish products.


Other institutions

University of Namibia (UNAM), Private Bag 13301, 340 Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, Pioneerspark, Windhoek.


Tel: +264 61 206 3111

Fax: +264 61 206 38760


Provides input to courses for MFMR staff including Fisheries Inspectors and Observers course, commercial sampling for fisheries observers, cadet programme for patrol boat officers, scientific technical assistance course. 

Polytechnic of Namibia, Private Bag 13388, 13 Storch St., West Windhoek.


Tel: +264 61 207 9111

Fax: +264 61 207 2444


Provides input to courses for MFMR staff including Fisheries Inspectors and Observers course, commercial sampling for fisheries observers, cadet programme for patrol boat officers, scientific technical assistance course. 

Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI), PO Box 3228, Walvis Bay.


Tel: +264 64 203 114

Fax: +264 64 203 112

Main institute providing education and training for MFMR staff, including Fisheries Inspectors, Fisheries Observers, patrol boat personnel and fisheries scientists. 

Fisheries Observer Agency, Walvis Bay (postal address not yet known).


Tel  +264 64 219 500

Fax: +264 64 219 547/8

Management and administration of the MFMR Fisheries Observer Programme. Office should be fully operational from March 2002.

The Namibian Chamber of Commerce.

Provides a forum of discussion between business persons on matters of common concern; represents the views of commerce and industry to Government; provides a range of services of benefit to its members; and seeks to assist in setting up local and regional chambers.

Namibian Ports Authority (NamPort).

Head Office: Namport, No 17 13th Road,
P O Box 361,  Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Tel: (+264 64) 208 2207
Fax: (+264 64) 208 2323
Manager: Marketing & Strategic Business Development: Mr Jerome Mouton

Port of Lüderitz, Hafen Street, P O Box 836
Lüderitz, Namibia.
Tel: (+264 63)20 0217
Fax: (+264 63) 20 0218

Promotes efficient and effective port and related services for seaborne trade between Namibia, it's neighbours and their international trading partners as well as for the Namibian fishing and other offshore industries.

Fishing industry associations:

All have a common secretary. Write to PO Box 2513, Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Phone: +264 (0)64 20 9083.

Fax: +264 (0)64 20 6158.