The minister of fisheries and marine resources Albert Kawana has refuted claims that Tunacor fishing was favoured in a special quota allocation as well as rumours that new right holders have not been named yet.
Allegations of favouring Tunacor stem from messages circulating on social media that companies owned by children of the elite have quotas being processed by the fishing company.
Tunacor's main shareholders are the Beluga Group and Kaume Group of companies which are in turn owned by several consortiums of fishing rights holding companies like Diaz Fishing, Huab Fishing, Ombaye Fishing, Ozohi Fishing, Morcar Fishing, Atab Consortium, Compass Investments, Tumina Fishing, Belinda Fishing. Many of these companies are themselves owned by various other companies.
In a media statement released on Monday, Kawana defended why Tunacor received quotas as part of employment preservation of over 7000 employees in factories and fishing vessels in over 100 companies whose rights expired as far back as 2017.
He further said the ministry adopted a two-phase approach to fishing rights applications.
The first phase covered companies with onshore factories, fishing vessels and workers whose fish quotas initially granted by Fishcor. This practice was stopped following Fishrot and the exercise completed in 2020, said the minister.
"Therefore to allege that Tunacor might have been favoured for whatever reason is completely misleading. All company applications were considered equally without any discrimination or favour," said Kawana.
The minister said the evaluation of new applicants will be completed next month and the names of both successful and unsuccessful applications will be made public.
"Consideration for application is more than 95% complete. The delay is caused by a number of factors which will be made known at the time of releasing the information, but the main factor is the disruption caused by Covid-19," said Kawana.