Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND - The Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations (CNFA) has called upon the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to ensure the existing 16 000 jobs as well as investments made so far in the fishing sector are considered and protected during the fishing rights allocation.
Chairperson of the CNFA, Matti Amukwa made the call on Thursday morning during a press conference held at Walvis Bay.
The fishing sector has been plunged into uncertainty since the lapsing of 32 fishing rights last year and a further 75 fishing rights are set to expire by December 31. The sector fears job losses, as they also have to apply for rights along with all the other Namibians.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau earlier this year called on Namibians to organise themselves and apply for fishing rights along with those fishing companies whose fishing rights have lapsed.
According to Amukwa, thousands of jobs, infrastructure and investment are at stake, hence the ministry should strongly consider such investments that was made in the sector for the past years when awarding rights.
Amukwa says the current fishing sector regardless of whether their rights have lapse created indirect employment to another 22, 000 while earning N$10,5 billion in foreign exchange for the country. “The open and transparent approach to the granting of fishing rights is putting the ministry under extreme pressure. It can only allocate quotas in line with the size of our resources and issuing more rights, and quotas could deplete the resource and catches,” he said.
Amukwa explained thousands of existing jobs and tax generating infrastructures are at stake if their access to the resources is denied.
“Therefore, while the interest by the public and applicants is great, it must also be understood that not all can be successful. We applaud the ministry for being transparent and people centred. We also welcome those that will join the industry and continue building on the strong foundation already in place. They should however not use the industry as an ATM cow or a get rich quick scheme,” he said.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-03 09:04:02 | 2 years ago