Fishing rights announcement due in two months

Over 5 000 applications received

04 February 2019 | Fishing

Bernard Esau; Minister of fisheries and marine resources; “Owning a fishing right will no longer imply that a company, or a person, will be automatically allocated a fishing quota annually.”

Jana-Mari Smith - The ministry of fisheries and marine resources recently announced that successful fishing rights applicants will be revealed soon.

Fisheries permanent secretary Moses Maurihungirire explained that the ministry was still evaluating an unprecedented high number of rights applications which previously ranged between 500 to 1 500 and now totals more than 5 100 received by 31 August 2018.

“We are still evaluating applications and will make an announcement no later than the first quarter of this year.”

The names of the 5 176 applicants received for 2018 rights of which there are 90 to 120 available were made public in November last 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 2018, fisheries minister Bernard Esau also introduced a new scorecard to be implemented which will score fishing rights holders and determine their quotas.

Esau said that 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”.

Regulations governing the allocation of fishing quotas are intended to be gazetted within the next six months.