Esau ready to fight quota critics and corruption allegations

20 Apr 2015 08:10am
WALVIS BAY, 20 APR (NAMPA) – The allocation of unequal numbers of quotas to fishing rights holders is not corruption as there are procedures that determine how such allocations are made, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernhard Esau says.
The minister said this while speaking at the 2015 annual fishing address in Walvis Bay on Friday.
“Those who say such allocations are corrupt, I am ready to fight them this year. I can use all the resources at my disposal to do that,” he said.
Esau also stated that some companies received larger quotas in allocations in the past because they employed more people, while those with fewer employees received fewer quotas.
He said the size of a company’s fleet, contribution to social responsibility and value addition to their products also guarantee bigger quotas.
“If a company has more employees and can prove that they need a bigger quota to sustain such employment and their operations, then I have the right to increase their quota. Is that corruption? In fact, I just increased a quota for one company this week as they proved that they employed new employees,” he informed.
The minister encouraged rights holders to focus on implementing value addition which would lead to bigger quotas.
He said fishing companies must embark upon building factories on shore to process fish, add value to their products and employ more people.
“Those who can do that are worth giving more quotas to,” he said.
Companies such as Etosha Fishing and United Fishing Enterprises added value to products by establishing canning factories at Walvis Bay and employing extra people.
Gendev Group has also created about 700 new jobs as they opened a horse mackerel processing factory in Walvis Bay last year.
Esau further advised fishing companies with old vessels to consider buying new ones or have them repaired.
A Total Allowance Catch (TAC) of 605 450 Metric Tonnes (MT) was allocated to fishing rights holders in the form of quotas in the 2014/15 financial year.
This is an increase from the 528 796 MT in the previous financial year.