Namibia’s trawl and longline fishery for hake has become the first fishery in Namibia, and the second in Africa, to meet MSC standards.
The certification recognises progress made by the Namibian government and fishing industry in rebuilding hake stocks, which in the past were decimated by overfishing by foreign fleets.
Fishing is the third largest sector of Namibia’s economy, with hake making up the majority of the sector and directly employing more than 10,000 people. The bulk of hake industry jobs go to women, who clean, fillet and pack the fish for export in factories around the ports where fish are landed. MSC certification is expected to help the sector grow, benefiting the economy, communities and creating more jobs.
“Demand for sustainable hake is growing, especially in Europe. Having MSC certification will help the Namibian Hake industry stay competitive and meet demand in our existing markets, as well as expand into new markets where retailers and brands preferentially stock MSC certified fish to meet their consumers’ expectations,” commented Peter Pahl, Chair of the Namibian Hake Fishing Association.
“Now we have certification, we hope to see our numbers grow, benefiting Namibians, communities, the economy and of course, the oceans.”
Nomad Foods, which owns the Birdseye, Findus and Iglo brands and has committed to source 100% of its fish and seafood from sustainable sources by the end of 2025, welcomed the certification.
“With more than 95% of our raw material already externally certified, we are increasing our focus on fish species that make up the remainder of our portfolio, including Namibian hake,” commented Nomad Foods CEO Stefan Descheemaeker.
“We have supported the Namibia hake trawl and longline fishery on its certification journey for a number of years and expect to be one of the first companies to bring products made from MSC certified Namibian Hake to European consumers.”
The Namibian hake fishery, is expected to add up to 160,000 tonnes of hake into the sustainable seafood supply chain.
“We have worked hard to rebuild hake stocks that were historically overfished. MSC certification of the Namibian hake is an independent endorsement that our efforts are working, and a signal to retailers, brands and fish lovers around the world that the Namibian hake is sustainable and it is here to stay,” said Dr. A Kawana, Namibia’s Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.