WINDHOEK – Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau has encouraged previously disadvantaged Namibians to apply for fishing rights.
Esau made the call during a media briefing held at Swakopmund Tuesday, where he also warned against companies using vulnerable communities and individuals to acquire fishing rights with the promise of shares in the company.
“Once these Section 21 companies receive fishing rights, they often exclude these vulnerable communities or persons from beneficiation in dividend sharing,” he said.
The minister said considering that the legal framework for Section 21 companies, close corporations and trusts do not have obligatory issuance of shareholding certificates, it becomes difficult for such vulnerable communities to prove shareholding ownership and enforce dividend sharing.
Esau announced that 96 fishing rights in nine fishery species are to be issued this year.
These include hake, horse mackerel, monk, red crab, rock lobster, line fish, large pelagic fish, mullets and seals.
This is the ninth time fishing rights are being issued since independence in 1990, with rights previously issued in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2012. “I intend to ensure that the 2018 application for fishing rights is fair and transparent, aimed at protecting jobs and investments and allowing all Namibians a fair chance to participate in developing our fisheries for the benefit of present and future generations,” Esau said.
Applications are open to all Namibians.