Existing fishing rights extended

11 December 2019 | Business

Existing fishing rights holders have been granted permission by cabinet to net a third of the total allowable catch (TAC) for various species until the end of 2019/20 financial year.

Information minister Stanley Simataa said on Monday this would be allowed in an attempt to maintain employment and stability in the fishing industry. Simataa said cabinet further directed the fisheries ministry to complete the process of evaluating the applications for new fishing rights.

The allocation of the new fishing rights would take place after an endorsement by cabinet, he said.





The fisheries ministry was also directed to work out mechanisms to address the plight of employees who lost jobs in the fishing industry because of the reduction in quotas. Most of the 4 500 fishermen who went on strike four years ago lost their jobs as a direct result of the withholding and manipulation of fishing quotas by those implicated in the Fishrot scandal.

Many players in the Namibian fishing industry, including Namsov, which was once one of the leading employers in the sector, dubiously lost thousands of tonnes in quotas, leading to companies scaling down their operations and consequently retrenching workers.

The job losses were largely caused by former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau's reallocation of fishing quotas to those linked to the unfolding Fishrot bribery scandal.

It is alleged that Iceland seafood company Samherji paid over N$150 million in bribes to secure access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia. Others in custody with Esau are former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi, his former colleague at Investec Namibia Ricardo Gustavo, Esau's son-in-law Tamson 'Fitty' Hatuikulipi and Pius 'Taxa' Mwatelulo.



ELLANIE SMIT

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