06 Jun 2013 09:20
WALVIS BAY, 06 JUN (NAMPA) ? Fisheries and Marine Resources? Minister Bernhard Esau says Namibia will not tolerate companies which dump fish in Namibian waters.
Addressing a meeting between the Midwater Trawlers? Association and his ministry here on Wednesday, Esau said an incident where fish was dumped in Namibian waters occurred in 2007/2008, and firm action was taken against the offenders then.
In a more recent incident, a Chinese-owned vessel was fined for dumping fish.
Local English daily The Namibian last week reported that the vessel was fined last month after they admitted to dumping the fish, which could result in long-term damage for Namibia?s fishing stocks.
Companies which dump fish make themselves guilty of contravening the Marine Resources? Act of 2000.
?Namibia?s image should not be compromised at all. Those companies that are dumping fish at sea - we will consider their rights and quotas in terms of suspension, cancellation or downgrading, and allow the rights to expire,? Esau added.
The Minister further stated that more Namibian-flagged vessels should occupy Namibian waters, noting that since 1991, all vessels fishing in the Namibian midwater trawling industry have been foreign-flagged vessels.
?This does not promote the Namibianisation of the sector at large. We need to discuss this issue at length,? he noted.
Esau stated that Namibian vessels should be exploiting fish resources in the country, as well as employing Namibian crew members onboard these vessels.
Also speaking during the event, the chairperson of the Midwater Trawlers? Association Jerome Mouton indicated that the flagging of Namibian vessels is a priority.
Without going into detail, he stated that there are, nonetheless, ?inhabiting elements? which still need to be addressed.