Fisheries minister shuts down ‘gossip mongers’

Not true

28 January 2021 | Ministries

Dr Albert Kawana; Fisheries minister; “Evaluation of applications will be completed next month ...”

The minister of fisheries and marine resources Dr Albert Kawana refuted allegations circulating on social media that his ministry is favouring Tunacor.

Kawana said that the ministry had learned through social media that more than 5 000 ordinary Namibians who applied for fishing quotas in 2018, have not received anything yet.

“We note that the same social media post makes reference to Fishrot. This matter is already before court and our response took this aspect into account. We have stated time and again that the due process of law will take care of the Fishrot matter as we have full faith and confidence in our judiciary.”

The minister added that by November 2019 the fishing rights of more than 100 companies operating in the industry had expired. He said that these rights expired in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“These companies had a collective number of employees of over 7 000, with factories onshore and on fishing vessels. Measures had to be taken to preserve employment and the economy.”

Kawana said that due to this, the ministry adopted a two phase approach to fishing rights applications.

“The first phase covered companies with onshore factories, fishing vessels and employees whose fish quotas were initially granted by Fishcor, a practice that was stopped after Fishrot.”

This exercise was completed in 2020.

“To allege that Tunacor might have been favoured for whatever reason is completely misleading. All applicant companies’ applications were considered equally without discrimination or favour. This has already been explained several times,” the minister said.

With regards to the new applicants, Kawana said that “it is not correct that they have not received anything yet. As was already explained and as will be explained at the end of the exercise, evaluation of applications will be completed next month. Thereafter, the names of the successful applicants together with the unsuccessful applicants and the reasons thereof will be made public.”

The minister said that in the interest of transparency, both the names of applicants who were already operating in the industry as well as the new applicants will be made public.

“New applicants from all 14 regions who have been successful, already received their fish quotas effective from last year.”

Kawana said this move enables the industry, at their request, to buy fish quotas to enable factories to continue operating and in so doing, preserve employment.

“Consideration for applications is more than 95% complete. The delay is caused by a number of factors which will be made known at the time of releasing the information. However, the main factor is the disruption caused by Covid-19.”

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