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Bird-scaring lines help prevent avian bycatch

Bird-scaring lines help prevent avian bycatch

Environmental science and conservation group Mongabay, this week said that Namibia is leading the way globally in efforts to reduce the loss of seabirds by commercial hake fishing vessels.

The group said commercial fisheries on the 70 trawlers and 12 longline fishing vessels sprawling the coastline, are championing by installing ‘bird-scaring’ lines that prevent the loss of marine animals. The Responsible Business Center for Sustainable Development Goals, part of the United Nations Development Programme said through the efforts being implemented, Namibia is likely to change its status as the“world’s worst fishing nation” regarding avian bycatch.

Mongabay said Hake fish that makes up 50% of the N$11 billion fishing industry is mostly to blame for the 30,000 seabirds, including the Tristan albatross which is listed as critically endangered which are lost as bycatch every year.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Tristan albatross’s breeding populations are restricted to Gough Island, roughly 2,000 miles southwest of Namibia.

Mongabay said today some governments with an increasing understanding of the devastation caused by traditional fishing methods are beginning to require that commercial, and sometimes sport fishermen to apply specially designed devices to their equipment to minimize the loss of marine life.

Clemens Naomab was one of the Albatross Task Force (ATF) first Namibian anti-bycatch trainers, tells how he earned the trust of often insular and independent fishermen. “When you have a good relationship with the fishermen it is easier to communicate with them,” he said.

The Meme Itumbapo Women’s Group, known for its seashell necklaces and other jewelry, is now sustainably manufacturing and supplying the bird-scaring lines from their “Bird’s Paradise” headquarters in Walvis Bay and through this the combined efforts will reduce avian bycatch by 85-90 % in the near future.

Samantha Matjila of the Namibia Nature Foundation which represents Namibia on the international Albatross Task Force composed of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguayn and South Africa said local fishermen have well received the introduction of new devices to prevent bycatch.

“The simple and easy to use anti-bycatch tools and include “bird-scaring” lines also known as tori lines or streamers that are being used by the nation ’s 70 trawling vessels. Bird-scaring lines, along with line-weighting and nocturnal baiting techniques,” she said.

Matjila’s job is to show fishermen how to fit the various devices used to avoid bycatch to a boat’s fishing gear and she also accompanies the fishermen out to sea to show them how the gadgets work in practice.

About The Author

Freeman Ngulu

Freeman Ngulu is an Entrepreneur, into data journalism and is an aspiring content marketer. He tweets @hobameteorite.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.