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Not all 5193 fishing rights applications will be approved – Fisheries Minister

Not all 5193 fishing rights applications will be approved – Fisheries Minister

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources received 5193 applications for fishing rights with successful candidates set to be notified by the end of 2018.

Speaking at a press conference this week, Minister Bernhardt Esau said that due the country’s limited fisheries resources not all applicants can be issued with a fishing right.

“If we were to issue every applicant with a fishing right, it would make the fisheries sector uneconomical, and a free-for-all, which would lead to an unsustainable scramble for this natural resource, leading to its collapse. I am committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our fisheries stocks, which must only be harvested at sustainable levels as determined by thorough periodic scientific studies, for the sake of future generations of Namibians,” Esau said.

Esau added that in two week’s time, he will be publishing the names of all applicants for 2018 marine fishing rights, broken down by species applied for.

The minister explained that applicants who already have attestation certificates issued by the receiving officials will therefore be able to confirm that their applications are well received, and ready for evaluation.

“I wish to state that evaluation of the applications will be as per the criteria gazetted in the Government Notices 92 and 150, hence the checklist is clear and transparent. Every application will be treated fairly and declarations in the forms will be verified. As stated earlier, the Policy objective in this matter is to give meaning to the Government Policy of inclusivity and particularly empowerment of previously disadvantaged Namibians, while ensuring that we protect Namibian jobs and investments in our marine fisheries sub-sector,” Esau said.

The ministry’s head office in Windhoek recorded the bulk applications (2766), while the Oshikoto Regional Council recorded the least number of applications (18). The Khomas Regional Council recorded 1247 applications, while the Erongo Regional Council recorded 661 applications.

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Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys