Windhoek-The increase in the fishing levy for fishing permits does not affect subsistence anglers registered with the fisheries ministry and the Hangeneni Artisanal Fishing Association, as these people will still obtain the fishing permits for free. That would remain standing until new guidelines are put in place for a subsistence anglers.
The monthly payment of N$1500 for a fishing permit only applies to the recreational anglers, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Moses Maurihungirire said yesterday.
Maurihungirire was addressing the media in Windhoek yesterday afternoon following a public outcry over the shocking increase of recreational fishing permits from N$14 per month to a whopping N$1500 per month.
The permanent secretary told the media that the increase was necessary as the ministry has been subsidising recreational fishing, its permits and associated cost at a cost of N$400 000 per month.
“This cost could not be covered by the earlier level fees hence the increase was necessary,” he said.
He further explained that prior to the increase, the monthly cost of N$14 for a fishing permit basically translates to 46 cents per day. With the new fees a recreational fishing permit will cost N$50 a day.
“Mind you, these fees remained unchanged for the past 16 years and was indeed costly for the ministry. We have been subsidising recreational fishing and the situation was not tenable,” Maurihungirire said.
According to him, the situation has been depriving non-fishing Namibians from benefiting from the country’s marine resources which are also utilised by government for its programmes.
“However recreational fishers do not need to pay the N$1500 as a lump sum but can also opt to pay N$50 per day for the days they wish to go fish,” he said.
He added that they are also only allowed to catch 10 fishes per day.
“Considering the level of license fees applicable for recreational fishing, the N$1500 cannot be seen as exorbitant and we must understand that the ministry also has the right to charge fees and levies for the successful management of Namibia’s marine resources,” he said.
According to Maurihungirire people who have already acquired a yearly permit will only start paying the current N$1500 once such a permit expired.