Fish catches that reach the Namibian shores for further processing and distributions have been declining for the whole of 2022.
According to the latest Agricultural Bulletin released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) for the last quarter of 2022, fish landing has declined for three consecutive quarters, from Q1 to Q4 in 2022.
For the first two quarters of 2022, fishery resources that landed at the country’s two ports declined from 112,102 tons to 109,779 tonnes.
From Q2 to Q3 fish landings declined from 109,779 tons to 81,611 tonnes.
From Q3 to Q4, fish landing declined from 81,611 tons to 43,504 tonnes.
The number of fishery resources that reach the port enables further processing inland, thereby creating employment and stimulating investments in the cold value chain.
Fish landings include horse mackerel, monk, hake, Cape rock lobster, and others.
Horse mackerel leads as the most type of fish brought to the shores in all quarters followed by hake and monkfish, respectively.
As for the Cape rock lobster, there were no landings recorded during the period under review.
The NSA report indicated that the decline in fish landing has not only affected the quantity exported but has led to more import of fish in the county.
In terms of import, 9,984 metric tonnes of products were recorded at a bill of N$378.7 million for the reporting quarter, compared to 5,572 metric tonnes recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021 amounting to N$189.6 million.
During the fourth quarter, horse mackerel topped the list of imports, recording 2,745 metric tonnes at the bill of N$57,8 million, and in second place was sardine recording 2,035 metric tonnes amounting to N$41,3 million.
In terms of import origin, horse mackerel was mainly imported from Morocco, accounting for 47.3 percent (1 298 metric tons) of total Horse Mackerel imported, the report shows.
In third place was tilapia, registering 1,185 metric tonnes with a bill of N$22.0 million.
According to the agency, the fishing sub sector is one of the important sectors in the economy and a source of foreign earnings for the country.
Namibia exported 52,333 metric tonnes for the products of ‘fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates’ at the value of N$2,4 billion compared to 53,070 metric tonnes recorded for Q4 of 2021.
During Q4 of 2022, hake was the top exported species, recording 15,869 metric tonnes valued at N$1.1 billion followed by 30 984 metric tonnes of horse mackerel valued at N$849.0 million.
During the period under review, dogfish and sharks were exported with 679 metric tonnes valued at N$18.7 million.
The main export market for hake was Spain accounting for 56.5% (8,971 metric tonnes) exported.
While the dogfish and sharks were mainly destined to Portugal with a share of 55.0% of the 679 metric tonnes exported for this species.
On the other hand, the horse mackerel was mainly destined to Zambia accounting for 50.3% of the 30,984 metric tonnes exported for the quarter under review.
The latest updates from Simonis Storm for February 2023, show that the value of fish exports in Namibia increased by 21.8% y/y compared to the previous year, compared to 29.5% y/y in January 2023.
On a monthly basis, fish exports have, however, decreased by 2.7% m/m.
Simonis Storm indicated that the increase in export value can be attributed to onshore processing activity, which has increased significantly in recent times.
This, coupled with a weak Rand exchange rate, has led to higher export earnings which should benefit public revenues and profitability in the fishing sector.