Parliamentary committee addresses threat of seal population to fishing sector

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources has emphasised the need for natural resources to be managed on a sustainable basis, especially when it becomes a threat to another resource.

Tjekero Tweya was referring specifically to the fast growing seal population both in the Erongo and ||Kharas regions, which is regarded as becoming a menace to the fishing sector as they are consuming more fish than is allocated to the fishing sector.

He said this during a courtesy call to the Governor of Erongo, Neville Andre Itope on Monday as part of their consultations on the motion on the devastating effects of the increasing seal population on the sustainable harvest.

“The fishing sector appears to be overpopulated by seals and as a result, they consume more of the available fish than people’s allocations in the annual fishing quarter. In terms of our Constitution, we are obliged to manage all our resources on a sustainable basis when the other resource becomes a threat,” Tweya noted.

The current seal population is estimated at 1.5 million and each seal is said to consume about three or four kilogrammes of fish per day.

He added that the visit however seeks to find more information on what the actual issue is and how it should be handled before a decision to resolve the matter is made by Parliament.

“We are therefore here also as follow-up to the first meeting we had in Lüderitz and to fully understand why only a fraction of 25 per cent of the fish stock in Namibian waters are being allocated for human consumption in order to keep the fishing sector alive in terms of food security as well as the economy,” he stressed.

The committee will then compile a report for the National Assembly for debate and for an eventual decision.

Itope noted that although it is important to maintain natural resources, it is also crucial that one does not kill the other, because both are very important in terms of not only the ecosystem, but also social and economic activities in the region.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency