FISHERIES minister Bernhard Esau yesterday said the government is not in a position to issue all Namibians with fishing rights.
Esau made these remarks at the opening of the N$4 million Oshakati cold storage that will be run by Camoposatu and Vernier Investments.
"Even if you do not have the rights you still benefit from them through roads, clinics and schools as these are built from income generated after fishing rights," he said.
Esau said it was not possible for every individual to have a fishing right as even communist and social countries with these resources have not done so.
The minister shares the same sentiments as justice minister Sacky Shanghala who last month said young people must make use of other opportunities available because fishing rights are "not for everyone".
"The distribution of 10 tonnes in just one town by this establishment is testimony that our people want to consume Namibian fish, and are willing to pay for it at competitive prices," Esau said.
He added that the companies enjoying the rights of exploiting the fishing industry must invest in all 14 regions.
Esau once again emphasised the importance of job creation in the fishing industry. Esau also said the industry should provide fish to locals to dry it, smoke or make kapana out of it for the livelihood of their children.
Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa applauded the two companies for the storage saying products will be preserved and made freshly available to the customer.
He also said the cold storage had created a market for small businesses to acquire fish.
Camoposatu and Vernier Investments have been granted an annual horse mackerel quota allocation since 2012 for seven years.
Currently, the storage facility which employees 21 people distributes about 200 tonnes of fish per month, mainly horse mackerel but also hake, and by-catch such as snoek, dentex and jacopever.
Applications for fishing rights, which opened at the beginning of June, require would-be holders to identify a certain community or an entity which would benefit through corporate social responsibility from a fishing quota.