14 May 2018

Namibian Fishing Industry Cries Foul As Quota Handed to International Interests

analysis

File: Walvis Bay on the Atlantic Ocean is the main port in Namibia and home to many fishing companies, fishing is one of the main contributors to the Namibian economy. Etale Fishing Company is one of many along the waters in Walvis Bay. A small fishing vessel docks at an adjacent quay. Photo: John Hogg / World Bank

The handing of a fishing quota to the benefit of a foreign company contradicts a government commitment to "Namibianise" the fishing industry, critics in Namibia say.

Namibia's fisheries minister, Bernard Esau, has handed the state-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) a fishing quota potentially worth N$1.8-billion in a controversial deal that will benefit an international company, official documents show.

The deal directly contradicts a government commitment to "Namibianise" the fishing industry.

Trade ministry documents reveal that Fishcor's new partner will assist in the establishment and operation of a N$530-million land-based fish processing plant in Walvis Bay.

The quota decision represents 16% of the total allowable horse mackerel catch, while more than 20 other local companies must scramble for the remaining allocations.

A well-placed industry source complained that at least five local companies "have the necessary expertise and financial capability" to partner...

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