The crayfish countdown begins! At a gala dinner held in southern coastal town of Lüderitz, (or the Bucht as it is known by locals) last week, N$2.8 million was pledged towards the planning and hosting of the 2019 Crayfish Festival.
This year’s festival will be the 12th edition of the popular and well-attended annual event and will take place 25-30 April under the theme, ‘Our ocean, our heritage’.
The festival, which is hosted by the Lüderitz Town Council, offers opportunities for small and medium businesses to sell and showcase their products and highlights the tasty crustacean as a delicious seafood meal.
The primary objective of the festival has always been to position Lüderitz as a destination for tourism and an investment hub in southern Namibia. The festival is an enjoyable tool to let the world (and many local Namibians) know what Lüderitz has to offer.
The festival is an economic boost for the Bucht. During the event, the town's hospitality outlets provide extra employment for its residents and there are short terms jobs in sales, clean-up, marketing, entertainment and every other area. People shop at market stalls, buy local products and crafts, learn about the history of the town, and tour the entire area using local tour guides, rental cars, and buying tourist support products.
Speaking at the fundraising gala dinner, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau urged investors in all fields of the country’s economy to consider Lüderitz as a profitable destination for their financial interests as it has contrasts such as the desert, the ocean, strong winds and tranquil town life.
“I am sure they will be convinced as I am convinced, that this is the place to be. We will continue to emphasise the need to invest in this town, particularly in value addition activities in order to create more on-shore jobs,” he said.
Esau said the festival offers an exceptional opportunity for the business community, new investors, tourists, officials, Namibians from other regions, the media and entertainment and others to come together and celebrate the wonderful and vibrant Lüderitz and the excellent seafood cuisine on offer.
Tourist attractions in Lüderitz include boat trips to the nearby Shark Island, Diaz Point and day trips to the Kolmanskop ‘ghost town’ which is nearly subsumed by the sand. In addition, en route to the seaside town, the highly endangered, yet world renowned feral Wild Horses of the Namib make their home and a wonderful conservation tourism stop over.
Crayfish is considered an expensive luxury product and is mostly eaten in restaurants and hotels or sold to overseas markets.
The sector exports cooked and uncooked frozen crayfish to Japan and to China, where the sector has been exporting live crayfish.
As a tasty deluxe meal, crayfish has vitamins A, E, B12, calcium, iron, Omega 3 among others.