THE minister of fisheries and marine resources, Derek Klazen, is in negotiations with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the sale of 27 300 tonnes of of governmental objective quota freezer horse mackerel.
This emerged on Monday after the DRC's minister of economy Jean-Marie Kalumba Yuma, who was in Namibia on Monday, handed over a symbolic cheque of N$86 million to Klazen to show their commitment to acquire the fish.
Klazen said the negotiations for the deal is yet to be concluded.
"This is the return visit of the minister of economic affairs to cement his commitment that they are going to buy the fish that was left over from the auction, which is 27 300 tonnes," he said.
The sale of fish to the DRC started a few months ago when a delegation from the country visited Namibia.
During the visit, Klazen invited the delegates to participate in the auction of the governmental objective quota.
Executive director of fisheries Annely Haiphene confirmed they are now waiting for the money to reflect in the government's account to conclude the deal.
Haiphene said Namibians were given an opportunity to buy the leftover fish from the auction, but did not take it up.
"There were leftovers and the Namibians came again and . . . priority was given to the Namibians," she said.
Haiphene said this is a once-off deal.
According to Haiphene the fish will be sold to the Kinshasa market alone, which will not interfere with the rest of the market.
The DRC is the biggest market for Namibian horse mackerel.
Haiphene said the fish will be harvested by Namibian-flagged vessels.
"It is for them to negotiate directly with our industry . . . The ministry has no role there. We are only assisting them because we are also seeing that the fishing season is coming to an end," she said.