Fishing rights within 2 months

21 January 2019 | Fishing

The fisheries ministry will announce the successful fishing rights applicants within the next two months.

Fisheries permanent secretary Moses Maurihungirire says the ministry is still evaluating the unprecedented high number of rights applications, totalling more than 5 100.

“We are still evaluating and will make an announcement no later than the first quarter of this year,” he said last week.

The names of the 5 176 applicants for 2018 fishing rights were made public in November last year, with the ministry at the time saying the rights holders would be announced by the end of the year or early this year.





Although quotas for the nine categories of marine resources have not yet been set, the applications list shows that 1 852 entities applied for hake quotas, 1 663 entities applied to catch horse mackerel and 6 99 applications for monkfish were received.

Among the smaller applications are 155 for rock lobster quotas, 149 for line fish and 101 for large pelagic species, including tuna.

In November, fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau also introduced a new scorecard to be implemented this year which will score fishing rights holders and determine their quotas.

The minister said a survey, which looked at the current quota system, found that many companies had not “sufficiently Namibianised their shareholding structure or invested in value addition for job creation”.

He said in light of the scorecard, “owning a fishing right will no longer imply that a company, or a person, will be automatically allocated a fishing quota annually,” unless their structure is such that it measurably benefits the country and its people.

Quotas will be allocated based on eight criteria of the scorecard and compliance with other aspects of the relevant legislation.

He said the scorecard would “give meaning to the urgent need to ensure that our fisheries benefit all Namibians and that there is genuine empowerment of Namibians in the fisheries through ownership and ability to exercise their rights”.

It was announced that regulations governing the allocation of fishing quotas are intended to be gazetted within the next six months.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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