Walvis Bay has the potential to actively participate in and benefit from the blue economy by capitalising on its coastal advantages and focusing on the array of options available, its mayor, Trevino Forbes has said.
Forbes was speaking on Friday during the opening of the inaugural Walvis Bay Maritime Festival, where he noted that the town can develop and strengthen its fishing industry by promoting sustainable fishing practices through supporting local fishers and investing in aquaculture operations to diversify seafood production.
To this, the mayor added that the town’s municipality has already identified several plots for aquaculture as a form of its direct contribution towards the cause.
“Walvis Bay is also known for its stunning coastlines, marine wildlife and unique landscapes and by developing and promoting tourism initiatives such as wildlife tours, beach activities, and coastal cruises, the town can attract visitors, and create employment opportunities,” he said.
The mayor also, however, highlighted numerous challenges faced when it comes to the health of the ocean ecosystem, such as plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change, among others.
“These issues not only impact marine life but also jeopardize the livelihoods and well-being of our local communities.”
Forbes therefore called on all stakeholders and residents to use the Walvis Bay Maritime Festival as a platform for education, awareness and collaboration in preserving and saving the ocean.
Held under the theme: “Preserving a Healthy Ocean Ecosystem for a Resilient Economy”, the two-day festival also aims to enlighten residents about the different sectors involved directly or indirectly in the maritime industry by providing them with an opportunity to showcase their products and services.
Walvis Bay Acting General Manager for Community and Economic Development, Tulimekondjo Iishitile, said the festival’s initiative stemmed from the recently launched Local Economic Development Strategy by the Municipal Council of Walvis Bay.
“The strategy emphasises the use of existing infrastructure and available assets to promote and stimulate economic growth, and among these valuable assets is the maritime industry, which serves as the economic backbone of our port city and the silk fiber in our country’s economy,” she said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency