Sunday, March 2, 2014

Minister's Annual Staff Address: Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, 25 February 2014

Honourable Minister,  Bernard Esau (MP) addressing staff of the MFMR during his Annual Staff Address in the Nampower Convention Center in Windhoek on the 25th of February 2014

Honourable Minister,  Bernard Esau (MP) addressed staff members of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and members of the media during his Annual Staff Address for 2014 that took place at the Nampower Convention Centre on the 25th of February 2014. More than a hundred people attended the function. The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MFMR, Ms. Ulitala Hivelua.
In the key note address, Honourable Esua welcomed everybody present to the year 2014 and expressed his hope that all are well rested, refreshed and ready to engage the new year. He was confident that MFMR staff will plan diligently, work out realistic timelines, adhere religiously to such timelines and avoid falling behind on set targets  for 2014. Missed targets results in wasted resources that must be avoided at all times. The Hon. Minister is confident that MFMR staff will always put our nation first in all that they do in order to improve the well-being of all our people, in line with the stated goals of our national agenda for soci-economic transformation as set out in Vision 2030. He elaborated on several key themes for 2014 as summarized below
  • Work Ethics:  Staff members to comply with employment conditions, core values and working as a team. 
  • Working Environment: Create a conducive working environment as well as a strong institutional culture by adhering to the general chain of command and by supporting and respecting each other. Grievance procedures should be used as a corrective and not a punitive tool.
  • Loyalty and Team Work: Portray a good image of our ministry at all times.
  • Accountability and Productivity: Improve planning and efficient resource utilization by managing our scares resource (finance and time) for the optimum benefit of our country.
  • Integrity: Instil core values of self respect and respect for others within our households and working environment, to stand up against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and to refrain from alcohol and drug abuse.
Part of the audience in attendance
 Hon. Esua further challenged staff members to apply good management and control of the limited financial resources and to ensure successful implementation of Capital Projects within the budget year to prevent the return of funds to Fiscus as it has a negative effect on development. He also encouraged staff members to register for the upcoming national elections. After the Hon. Ministers speech the chairperson. Ms. Ulitala Hivelua opened the floor for discussions.
Mrs. Lucia Haufiku (Deputy Director, IT)actively participating during the open discussion

Headmen Muhero visit KIFI: 21 February 2014

Headmen Muhero (middel) of the Hambukushu Traditional Authority from Kamutjonga village with his secretary Mr. Edward (R) and Mr. Burger (L)
Headmen Muhero visited KIFI on Friday, 21 February 2014 to discuss issues effecting KIFI and the Kamutjonga village under the Hambukusu Tribal Authority. The meeting was attended by Headmen Muhero, his Secretary, Mr. Edward, Mr. Burger (Deputy Director: KIFI) and Mr. Sitengu (Chief Fisheries Biologist: KIFI). Matters arising from the previous meeting that was held on 11 November 2013 were discussed. Mr. Burger informed Headmen Muhero that the Tribal Fund Registration Card of the Hambukushu Tribal Authority was discussed with all KIFI staff members. Staff members that are willing will participate by registering.  Warrant Officer Makushe (Station Commander) from the Divundu Police Station was invited as per  his request, but could unfortunately not make it as a result of other commitments. She however confirmed future attendance of these meetings.

Headmen Muhero and Mr. Burger requested new issues to be discussed as follow:
  1. Nature Conservation official from Mahangu Game Park also to attend the meeting in future (Headmen Muhero).  This will create a platform where  illegal fishing in the park and human wildlife conflict issues affecting KIFI staff  and Kamutjonga villagers can be discussed. Mr. Burger will invite the officer in charge at Mahangu Game Park for the next meeting.
  2. Damage to Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) infrastructure at the low water bridge and river jetty at KIFI (Mr. Burger). Mr. Burger showed Headmen Muhero pictures of damage to the KIFI's river infrastructure.  Headmen Muhero indicated that this infrastructure is to the advantage of the Kamutjonga community and that he will take it up with the community.
  3. Temporary workers from Kamutjonga village (Mr. Burger). Mr. Burger informed Headmen Muhero that KIFI will only be able to request for 15 temporary workers for the financial year 2014/15 as a result of a limited budget. Headmen Muhero accepted the reduction from 20 to 15 temporary workers and expressed his gratitude for the employment opportunity of Kamutjonga community members.
  4. Registration of voters for the upcoming election will take place at Kamutjonga Primary School from 25-28 February 2014. Headmen Muhero requested Mr. Burger to inform all staff at KIFI about the opportunity to register at Kamutjonga Village.

Mr. Burger proposed a meeting schedule for these important meetings with Headmen Muhero. The schedule   was accepted. The next meetings will take place as follow:

20 May 2014
13 August 2014
19 November 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Official Launch of the Bwabwata-Kavango RAMSAR Site: 14 February 2014

Honourable Uaherukua Herunga, Minister of MET at the launch of the new Ramsar Site accompanied by Mr. Barry Primm (USAID: SAREP), Hon. Dr. Mbambo, Governor Kavango East Region and Mr. Abraham Nehemia (MAWF: OKACOM)
Namibia is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands since 1995. The Ramsar Convention promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands and associated resources. As part of its commitment to promote wise use of wetlands and associated resources, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism designated the section of the Kavango River  in the Bwabwata National Park (including the floodplains and associated woodlands of the Mahango and Buffalo Core Areas) as a wetland of international importance in December 2013. The designation of this new Ramsar Site coincided with the celebration of World Wetlands Day.
Members of the audience, well represented by all stakeholders, the public and the media.
The gathering was well attended by officials from different ministries, community members from Kamutjonga village, general public, the media and stakeholders (SAREP, OKACOM, Lodge owners). Honourable Dr. Mbambo, Governor of Kavango East and West Regions delivered the welcoming remarks, followed by remarks from the SAREP representative, Mr. Barry Primm, Chief of Mission, USAID.  Mr. Abraham Nehemia, Under Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF)  also shared his remarks as the OKACOM Commissioner for Namibia. This was followed with the Key Note address by Honourable Uaherukua Herunga, Minister for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). Honourable Uaherukua Herunga then initiated the launch of the new Ramsar Site with the unveiling of the memorial accompanied by the OKACOM, MAWF and USAID representatives

A group from Kavango East Region contributing to the entertainment with a cultural dance
Guest were entertained with a delightful meal after the proceedings.

Black Mamba snake surprise KIFI staff in Aquarium

A small Black Mamba snake hiding under one of the display tanks in the KIFI Aquarium

Staff members at KIFI were pleasantly surprised one morning during February 2014 when they were very lucky to spot this over one meter Black Mamba snake hiding under one of the display fish tanks in the aquarium at KIFI in striking distance ( about 20 cm) of personnel feeding the fish in the tanks. The venom of this juvenile Black Mamba has the same potency as that of an adult snake and can cause certain death if striking a human being. The snake was successfully removed and killed as it pose a threat to staff members.

The over 1 meter juvenile Black Mamba after it was killed outside the KIFI Aquarium.



Editors: E. Simasiku& S.G. Sitengu
January 2014


The Zambezi (formerly known as Caprivi Region) and Kavango Regions have considerable surface water resources in the form of several large perennial rivers including the Kavango, Kwando and Zambezi Rivers. Up to 75 per cent of households in the Zambezi Region are involved in subsistence fishing. As local population grow, improved infrastructure and communication, increased pressure is placed on the fish resources resulting in the commercialisation of the fishery leading to the over-exploitation of fish stocks coupled with the use of illegal and destructive fishing gears.

Experimental gillnets in the Zambezi/Chobe, Kwando and Lake Liambezi was dominated by non-cichlidsfamily species such as Mormyridae, Characidae and Schilbeidae. These species are ecologically important and presents a good source of protein to the community. The large cichlids only appeared among the top 10 most important species in the Kwando system whereas none of the large cichlids appeared in the Zambezi/Chobe system and Lake Liambezi. Research has also demonstrated a sharp decline in Catch per unit effort (CPUE) in the Zambezi and Lake Liambezi over time while the Kwando was more pristine indicating a stable and healthy river system.The decline in CPUE is of great concern as this maybe an indication of high fishing pressure in the Zambezi River and Lake Liambezi.

Market surveys were also explored by means of daily wet weight statistics at the Katima Mulilo fish market. Based on a total estimate production of 2040 tons of fresh fish traded wholesale from May 2011 to April 2012, and an average value of N$8.00 per kilo, the value of the Katima Mulilo fish market was approximately N$15.8 million per annum. Most of the fish in the market (Destined for export) originated from Lake Liambezi with less fish recorded from the Chobe and Zambezi river system.

Recommendations were made to manage the fishery in the Zambezi Region by imposing restrictions on effort (number of fishing boats), gear type, mesh sizes and access. Proper fisheries management and monitoring should incorporate the establishment of Fish Protected Areas(FPAs) to ensure sustainable utilization of the fish stock in the region.

The full 27 page report is available on request at:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Welcome back to KIFI, Mr. Mukendoyi Mutelo

Mr. M. Mutelo returned to KIFI on Monday, 13 January 2013. He completed his M.Sc in Integrated Water Recourse Management at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. He can be seen here assisting the field attachment students from Unam and Polytech with identifying fish collected in one of the floodplains close to KIFI during a floodplain survey as part of their programme at KIFI.

We welcome you back and hope you enjoy your stay in our deep rural setting...!!!

Induced Breeding Season for Catfish Start at KIFI: 15 January 2014

Mr. Mwanamwali from  KIFI explaining induced breeding of catfish to field attachment students from Unam and Polytech.
The induced breeding of catfish has started at KIFI for the production of catfish fingerlings. Wednesday afternoon, 15 January 2014 staffmembers from KIFI and field attachment students from Unam and Polytech started the process by injecting the male and female catfish with Ovaprim hormone in order to prepare them for the stripping and fertilization of egss the next morning.
Picture 1: Mr. Mikchael Kangausary  (Unam student) injecting a female catfish with Ovaprim hormone. Picture 2: Eggs stripped from the female catfish. Picture 3: Male gonads removed from male catfish. Picture 4: Catfish eggs fertilized with male sperm using a feather to mix.

Mr Van Trieu Duc distributing the eggs in the special made incubators at KIFI shortly after fertilization.

Newly hatched catfish fry in the incubators at KIFI