Minister explains ‘illegal’ fish-dumping

Home National Minister explains ‘illegal’ fish-dumping
Minister explains ‘illegal’ fish-dumping

WALVIS BAY – The fisheries minister has shed light on a recent video clip that went viral, depicting fish found in a skip at Walvis Bay. 

The incident sparked debate and called for further investigation into the handling of fish stocks in the region, with many urging authorities to ensure fish resources are not wasted but put to better use, particularly to benefit those in need.

The fish in question weighed about 84 kilogrammes.

Responding to public outrage over the alleged illegal dumping, Derek Klazen on Friday said the individual who captured the trending video did not possess context and knowledge about the circumstances leading to the fish being discarded into the ocean.

According to Klazen and a statement by Hangana Seafood, where the dumping took place, the fish arrived on board a vessel from Gendev on 4 September and docked at Hangana for offloading.

“Some of the fishermen removed the fish and wanted to take it out of the vessel. They were stopped by the company and asked to return it, as they were not authorised to remove it. As a result, some of them threw the fish into the ocean and in the skip,” he clarified. 

Contrary to initial assumptions of illegal dumping, the ministry insisted the fish were removed without authorisation by some crew members and subsequently became contaminated.

According to Hangana, the incident involved crewmembers of the Epsilon vessel from Gendev.

Hangana explained that the Gendev fishing company had docked at its quay to offload their fish on Monday last week.

“On the same day, the crew members of the vessel approached Hangana’s security personnel to remove three bags of fish from our Hangana premises. As part of Hangana’s strict rules and security control measures, the security team requested the crew to provide a removal permit or any form of documentation confirming their authorisation to remove fish from the Hangana premises,” the statement reads.

The crew, according to Hangana, were unable to provide the necessary documentation, leading Hangana’s security guards to notify their manager at Gendev. 

Subsequently, the security manager at Gendev instructed that no fish be removed from the said vessel. 

“They were asked to return the fish they took. However, Hangana’s CCTV control room reported that the fish was being disposed of in the ocean and a skip near Hangana Services offices by the crew members themselves. In response to this unauthorised disposal, Hangana’s specialist in loss prevention immediately instructed the Hangana security team to intervene and prevent any further disposal into the ocean. The fish was also recovered from the skip and sent to Exigrade (fish meal plant on Hangana premises) for disposal, as it was contaminated.” 

It is not clear whether disciplinary action was taken against the involved fishermen.