Fishing rights and quotas no more for quick profits but for real benefit to country

Shareholding by workers in fishing companies, the number of jobs created by a business unit in the fishing industry, value adding to fish and the creation of higher quality jobs will soon become criteria to determine and allocate fishing rights. Gone are the days too, where fishing rights are allocated to individuals, as opposed to groups which will ensure more Namibians would share in the wealth of fishing.
This was said in Walvis Bay yesterday by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Mr. Bernhardt Esau at the launch of the revised Fish Quota Pro-Rata Criteria System. The revised criteria system will enable the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to measure to what extent does quota holders commit themselves to job creation, wealth creation, the development of human capital and investment in fish processing, as opposed to many quota [and right] holders in the past chasing profits without reinvesting to grow the fishing industry’s capacity to create jobs, transfer skills and employ better technology to optimise benefits from fish resources.
A discussion meeting was held on Thursday to finalise the new fish quota criteria system forms which will be used for the pro-rata cirteria evalution, following this all right holders are required to submit all their data to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources by 30 September.
On 6 March 2016 the review of the pro-rata system for quota allocation was officially launched, the captains of the industry along with the ministry committed to making the quota allocation system more transparent and accountable, based on performance of individual right holders. This process gives material meaning to Pillar 1 of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, which refers to governance in socioeconomic order.
Since March, it has been determined that the criteria forms the legal basis of the revised pro-rata system; the key aspects to be measured under each criteria and the formulas for the calculations; as well as the forms to be used for the data collection. Two steps left in the finalising of the new system is the assigning of weights to each criteria and to gazette the new mechanism into law. On this the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resource, Bernard Esau, commented, “The assigning of the weights to the criteria as outlined is not a technical process, but is a policy issue. I will make a decision, in consultation with the Government, on this matter at the right time, and inform the industry accordingly. The gazettement will follow immediately thereafter.”
Through the new quota criteria, the ministry wishes to the address the employment issue by encouraging right holders to include workers as equity partners; evaluating the number of jobs created by right holders, looking at companies who do more value adding as this translates into more jobs and the higher quality jobs, including Right holders to follow by these points will be rewarded more via criteria evaluation.
Esau added that he has instructed his officials to ensure that the evaluation process will commence from today without delay, as all rightholders are expected to have all their data submitted to the ministry by 30 September.

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