EDITORIAL: Forward with fishing quota auctions

22 September 2021 | Opinion

On the face of it, the N$86 million fish auction deal struck with DRC looks sensible. But the bellyachers of Namibia’s fishing industry – who for too long have had the Namibian sea to themselves – have come out guns blazing.

One of their cries is that the deal means government has robbed them of their DRC market, a key export destination. To these suited men and perfumed women of Namibian fishing industry, government should compromise its national interest mandate by leaving the DRC market to private players, while its stockpiles of fish rot in warehouses.

In order for an entrepreneurial spirit to thrive in Namibia, there must be a genuine market competition and not freebies, as was previously the case when fishing quotas were handed out on a silver platter to friends, children and relatives of powerful politicians.

Many fishing companies, ahead of allocations of fishing quotas, ran around building corrugated sheet classrooms and donating blankets to old age homes as, apparently, part of their corporate social responsibility. They tricked lame duck politicians with these lightweight, mickey mouse intentions into getting new fishing quotas, so that shareholders can fly their lovers to Dubai for exotic getaways.

National interest must always reign supreme. The state must never concern itself with the interests of individuals - but everyone that find themselves within its jurisdiction.

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