Captains Play Rough at Sea

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By Chrispin Inambao

SWAKOPMUND

Several violations have occurred whereby certain marine captains have blatantly violated the Marine Resources Act. This state of affairs could no longer be allowed to continue, warned Fisheries and Marine Resources.

Delivering the annual address to the fishing sector at Swakopmund, the Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Dr Abraham Iyambo, warned that offenders would face the music.

He said the ministry is disturbed by attempts by certain vessel operators to “silence” crew members who, in turn, alert the ministry about incidents of non-compliance.

This has prompted the minister to approach Cabinet on this issue and to seek guidance and directives aimed at reviewing certain laws to protect those who report transgressions at sea, or on land. “In this context, we are in the process of reviewing the Marine Resources Act to ensure the protection of whistle-blowers,” he said at the meeting.

It was noted that the current spot fines issued for various transgressions at sea are only dealt with through the amended Criminal Procedures Act.

He also expressed concern about the large quantity of jellyfish in Namibian waters, because such high numbers of jellyfish destroy fish eggs and larvae.

He said global warming effects are gradually being felt both at sea and on land.

On the allocation of a fishing quota on hake, he said a hake survey was conducted from January 9 to February 16, 2007, and a report will be tabled before the Marine Resources Advisory Council before the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is announced.

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