30 November 2012

Namibia: Rights Holders Risk Losing Fishing Quota

THE Fisheries and Marine Resource Ministry may revoke a seven-year fishing concession granted to 30 persons at Lüderitz in December 2011.

Since they were granted the rights the group have failed to register a company, which they had reserved as Ludzcom Fishing, in terms of the Companies Act.

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernard Esau said they could lose their concession as it was granted on condition that they reserved a business name and registered a company.

The unregistered company, Ludzcom Fishing, had entered into a quota-lease agreement with African Marine Products Namibia (AMPN).

Ludzcom Fishing was granted a lobster quota of 15 tons for the 2011/2012 fishing season.

The Fisheries Ministry renewed its quota for the current fishing season ending April 2013, The Namibian understands.

AMPN had paid Ludzcom Fishing N$300 000 for the exclusive right to catch rock lobster on their quota and to sell it.

However, the money was deposited into the personal FNB bank account of Andries Isaacs, who is the chairperson of the unregistered company’s board of directors.

A reliable source alleged that Isaacs had pocketed over N$100 000 of the N$300 000 after he had paid each of the other 29 right holders a dividend of N$6 000.

When approached for comment, Isaacs admitted that the group had failed to register the company, citing infighting as the reason.

Isaacs also admitted that the unregistered company had a quota-lease agreement with AMPN and that the N$300 000 was paid directly into his account.

“The shareholders pressed for the payout of the money, citing personal financial problems,” Isaacs said in justifying why the money was paid into his personal account.

Initially, Isaacs refused to comment on the N$6 000 dividend payouts, saying: “I won’t answer that question because I don’t want to incriminate myself.”

However, he later admitted that he paid each shareholder a dividend of N$6 000.

“All of them have received the N$6 000 and signed an invoice as proof that they have been paid,” said Isaacs, a former worker at the Seaflower Rock Lobster Corporation at Lüderitz.

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