Eveline de Klerk WALVIS BAY - Some Horse Mackerel right holders, whose rights are yet to expire, had five percent ducked from their reserve quotas that were released last week by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Some of these companies allegedly sold pipe dreams to the ministry in terms of value addition and did not meet their promises such as job creation. Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau, who was speaking at the launch of Etosha Fishing’s new Efuta brand products in Walvis Bay yesterday, said he has already sent out notifications to affected companies. “In order to give meaning to our national policy directives, I have directed officials at the ministry to deduct quotas from right holders, proportionate to value addition targets which has not been complied with as indicated in the letter of quota allocations,” Esau said. He added that this will be the order of the day going forward, in order to ensure that companies deliver on their promises made during applications for quotas. “We will slash quotas and give to those that are really delivering to government’s call as we cannot compromise our fight against poverty,” he said. He added that the days of empty talks are gone and that he is determined to give meaning to government’s policy of value addition and job creation in other aspects. The new punitive measures, he said, will be applied to the whole fishing industry. According to Esau, government has provided clarity in terms of value addition, job creation and economic inclusivity in the fishing industry. In terms of the National Development Plan 5 (NDP5), the target is to add value to 70 percent of total Horse Mackerel landings by 2022. The target for 2018/2019 is 35 percent, considering the Total Allowable Catch of 350 000 metric tonnes. This translates to 122 000 metric tonnes during 2018/2019. This value addition is not restricted to canning, but includes filleting of fish species, fresh products, mince, dried products and soup among others. “As you can see from the figure, we definitely need more canneries and several other value addition facilities to meet our NDP5 targets in horse mackerel and other fisheries. There is room for more value addition efforts and I call upon the fishing industry to come up with innovative ways in which we can add value and create more jobs,” Esau said.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-26 09:31:38 3 months ago