27 Sep 2015 10:30am
WALVIS BAY, 27 SEP (NAMPA) - The amendments to the Marine Resources Act of 2000, which is set to give sole power to the minister of fisheries in the allocation of fishing quotas, was gazetted on Thursday.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau announced this while opening the new Naras Investment Limited cold store at Walvis Bay on Friday.
The Act gives the minister the power to identify entities diligently contributing to governmental objectives, policies and strategies, so that such entities may be allocated more quotas aimed at cementing initiatives that positively contribute to governmental objectives.
At the time of the debate on the amendments in the National Council last month, Esau was criticised and accused by some fishing companies and members of the public of proposing to amend the Act without consulting them, with accusations in this regard made on social media and local newspapers.
The public also accused the minister of attempting to give himself more power in the allocation of fishing rights and quotas.
Esau, however, denied having such intentions.
Fishing rights were given left and right before, but now that I am in charge it is a problem. Why only now? he was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
According to Esau, the new law merely empowers the minister to perform his duties effectively.
He said the amendment to the Act is required to allow the minister, in consultation with Cabinet, some scope particularly with regard to abnormal situations that warrant government intervention.
There is also a need to make it possible for the State to respond to the urgent needs of its citizenry in distress, for instance due to flood or drought, he told the paper.
Naras Investment Limited, a Namibian company owned by veterans of the liberation struggle, opened the N.dollars 43.5 million solar powered cold storage facility here on Friday.
The facility is powered by 1 150 solar panels.