WALVIS BAY – After the hard lessons learned when last year’s attempt to auction fishing quotas flopped, government announced that it landed N$189.9 million from the sale of 15 948 metric tons of hake, inclusive of N$40 000 from application fees.
A joint statement issued by the fisheries minister Derek Klazen and finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi who facilitated the auction yesterday, said N$183.9 million has already been paid into the State Revenue Fund at the Bank of Namibia, while the balance of N$6 million will be settled next week.
Both ministries consider the auction a success as it shows an improvement from the initial reserve price of N$6 000 to N$11 745 for wet while the freezer price increased from N$8 000 to N$12 508 per ton.
“The overall demand at the auction was strong, with a total subscription of N$404.3 million. In terms of volume, a total of 46 858 MT was applied for, although only 15 020 MT were valid,” the joint statement reads.
Government also indicated that it would use the same auction principles for upcoming auctions for other fish species in the future.
“Finally, it should be always noted that, as a government, we are conducting these auctions with noble intentions. Although the first auction did not yield the desired outcome, the results that we are announcing today is a clear demonstration of government’s seriousness and commitment to support the country’s socio economic priorities, promote transparency and ensure that Namibia fully benefits from her natural resources. We appeal to all stakeholders to continue working closely with government for the country to realise its noble objectives.”
Commenting on the auction, chairperson of the Hake Association, Peter Pahl said the industry is happy with the process, although the set price increased.
“This is not uncommon, especially when the industry is forced to pay whatever that needs to be paid to secure more quota. The industry is faced with a situation where our quotas were cut to accommodate newcomers. Hence, you have to make sure that you bid high to ensure jobs are sustained,” Pahl said.
He added that this phase would also pass, as it is not sustainable in the long term because people will not be able to afford it. “However, we are happy with the auction and its outcome,” he said. -email@example.com