Fishing Sector Crisis

Fishing Sector Crisis

THE Namibian government has agreed to bring partial relief to the embattled and struggling fishing industry in response to urgent appeals made in the aftermath of a serious crisis in the industry.

The relief comes in the form of a five percent reduction in quota fees to be paid for the 2004/5 fishing season among others. The waiver, however, is subject to payment of all outstanding quota levies owed for the past four years.

The measure was announced yesterday in a lengthy speech by Dr Abraham Iyambo, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Walvis Bay.

“Many Namibian fishing companies do not have the catching or processing capacities that they have been claiming to have. This has led in many cases to the ‘selling’ of quotas between companies. Right holders have no capacity, have made no real effort to get involved in fishing and processing in a tangible way. This business has to stop,” Iyambo, who charged that many Namibian fishing companies are unwilling to provide detailed information and data on their operations, said.

“Some companies in some sectors of the industry have certainly moved towards improving efficiency, but not all of them. The question is, to what degree has the industry in general tried to adapt to the ever-changing economic conditions in the country? I expect all companies to do some basic research on how to improve efficiency, manage their operations effectively and increase productivity. In general, they must find ways to increase income streams so as to become more competitive in future,” he advised.

“Regarding a request for full exemption for outstanding quota levies, government will grant a 5 percent reduction on the quota fees to be paid for the 2004/05 fishing season. This reduction is granted on the basis that all outstanding quota levies owed for the past four years are paid in full,” Minister Abraham Iyambo, whose ministry is considering a closed fishing period season and exclusive demarcated fishing areas to help replenish Namibian fish, said.

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