Fisheries keeping score

All fishing right holders will be required to fill out a questionnaire measuring their performance every year to determine the amount of fishing quota they will be allocated.

03 December 2018 | Fishing

Bernard Esau, minster of fisheries; “Many existing right holders consider their current quota allocation levels as an entitlement.”

Jessica Botes

Regulations governing the implementation of a measurable criteria (scorecard) for allocating fishing quotas will be gazetted and implemented by the ministry of fisheries and marine resources within the next six months.

The scorecard for allocating fishing quotas will be the yardstick by which all fishing right holders’ performance will be measured and their quota determined.

“Every year, right holders are required to submit some information to the ministry of fisheries and marine resources, which is used in determining the amount of quota allocated to them,” said the minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernard Esau, in his ministerial statement on the scorecard.

According to him this process is complicated because quota allocation to the initial right holders after independence was not aligned to a measurable criterion.

“Many existing right holders consider their current quota allocation levels as an entitlement, and hence find it difficult to accept a reduction in their quotas, especially when new right holders are added to a particular fishery,” he said.

In an effort to have a transparent and predictable determination of fishing quota amounts for each right holder, the ministry started working on the scorecard based on the established Marine Resources Act two years ago.

“The scorecard is therefore not some new criteria, as it is already established in the Act. Rather, this scorecard introduces measurability to already existing criteria,” said Esau.

According to Esau this scorecard has been incorporated into a questionnaire to be filled annually by all right holders. It has been tested in the industry over a period of 12 months and contains measurable factors which, once completed by right holders, can be used to measure their performance. The performance is measured as a percentage score which can be used to determine how much quota each right holder should be allocated.

“I submit that the implementation of this scorecard will give meaning to the urgent need to ensure that our fisheries benefits all Namibians, and that there is genuine empowerment of Namibians in the fisheries through ownership, and ability to exercise their rights.

“I further submit that the scorecard does not discourage foreign investments in our fisheries but seeks to encourage genuine partnerships in the fishing industry, whilst protecting the legitimate right of Namibians to control ownership of fishing rights,” said Esau.

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