Towards responsible development of aquaculture - Namibia's Aquaculture Policy
Aquaculture has a very early history in Namibia, starting in the 1800’s with the introduction of carp and subsequently a number of other exotic species, primarily for stocking of cattle dams and state water dams. Up to the mid-1980s aquaculture production was very small, but from 1985 the private sector became more involved in commercial farming, especially of marine species. By 1996, the range of aquaculture activities included the culture of oysters, mussels and seaweed in Lüderitz harbour and in the salt ponds around Walvis Bay and Swakopmund; the culture of freshwater species, dominantly tilapia and clarias for stocking of around 100 farms and state water dams; and the operation of one crocodile farm. For 1996, the volume of aquaculture production in Namibia is estimated to have been 422 tonnes. The reasons for the limited growth have included limits in the availability of fresh water across most of Namibia’s land area; competition for the use of the available freshwater supplies, and the high cost of developing aquaculture facilities in the relatively unsheltered waters along most of Namibia’s coastline. Aquaculture has also received a low priority in government policies and programmes because of the higher priority attached in the early years after Independence to developing Namibia’s rich wild fish resources.