14 Jul 2018 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 14 JUL (NAMPA) - There are currently no entities in the fishing sector besides the proprietary company that can transact internationally, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau has said.
Responding to concerns raised by the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) in the National Assembly on the issuing of new Marine Fishing Rights in 2018 on Thursday, Esau said entities applying for fishing rights had to be ready to catch, process and sell fish, which is usually exported to other countries.
The PDM also said it was under the impression that applicants were required to have access to fishing vessels before applying for fishing rights and criticised the manner in which the fishing industry was managed, saying the issuing of fishing rights was not inclusive of all social sectors.
In addition to the PDM's concerns, Esau said there was also a perception that fishing rights could be given to any person, without condition, for the purpose of receiving fishing quotas which they would then sell to the fishing industry afterwards.
However, a fishing right involves business processes that require a trading entity which could transact internationally - since fish is usually exported, he said.
He added that any applicant in their business plan could indicate how and when they would acquire the capacity required for fishing, but did not have to have the required capacity at the time of application.
The PDM also claimed that fishing quota rights were mainly dominated by the same businesses since first issuance in 1992 and therefore, benefited only certain members of the society due to its duration of more than 15 years.
Esau however dismissed claims that the companies were owne by rich Namibians and that incorporating previously disadvantaged Namibians was impossible.
The minister last month said only proprietary limited companies would be considered for fishing rights and fishing quota allocations this year.