Fisheries still not ready to reveal new quota holders

20 August 2020 | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

The process of allocating the country’s sought-after fishing quotas has still not been completed, despite previous pronouncements by fisheries minister Albert Kawana that 81 old rights holders have been handed new fishing quotas, while new 104 applicants had also gotten the nod.

The new rights holders were initially meant to be announced in December 2018, but this was delayed due to the Fishrot corruption scandal that has led to the arrest of former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, among others.

Newly appointed fisheries ministry executive director Annely Haiphene said the process to allocate and announce new rights holders was still ongoing, when asked to provide an update.

“We have not finalised the project. It is still a work in progress. When the minister is ready to announce he will inform the media,” said Haiphane.

She did not elaborate whether the ministry had set any timelines or when Kawana was expected to pronounce himself.

Overwhelming response received

A total of 5 193 applications for fishing quotas had been received from throughout the country when the process closed in September 2018. The most applications were received from Khomas with 4 013, followed by Erongo with 661, Oshana with 110, Omaheke with 25, Kavango West with 23 and Oshikoto with 18.

Only between 90 and 120 fishing rights or quotas were available at the time.

Transparency sought

Kawana previously announced his intention to run an open and transparent process.

“I wanted this process to be legally sound; that’s why I sought legal advice from the attorney-general on whether old rights holders who have been awarded quotas for the past 20 years were still eligible for allocation,” Kawana said.

“I wanted this process to be as transparent as possible and that’s why we gave the evaluation job to Unam [the University of Namibia] because when I came in this ministry, I realised that people in the ministry, who previously presided over this process, have been involved in corrupt allocations of quotas.”

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