Points to ponder about fishing


Namibia’s Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources used the occasion of an official event opening of the Ongwediva Trade Fair to give the nation a number of points to ponder about the future of fisheries.

Three Key Points:
1. The Policy intention of a fishing right;
2. Maximizing fisheries economic benefits –to all Namibians;
3. Fisheries cannot do it alone…we must use ALL Namibian resources to develop Namibia.
The Policy Intention of a Fishing Right.
1. In terms of our Act (Section 32), no one is allowed to go fishing without a fishing right.
∙ A fishing right is a sovereign decision by the Government, to allow fishing access to its citizens.
∙ Our fishery is ‘rights based’ not ‘effort based’. Access to our fisheries is not reserved for those with capacity, but those with a right.
∙ A right is a deliberate Policy to ensure that Namibians have access to their fisheries.
∙Having a right means you go fishing…not to get a quota and sell it to operators in Walvis Bay.
∙ Selling a quota denies the country an opportunity to get previously disadvantaged Namibians economically empowered to participate in our fisheries.
∙ This is the intention of Namibianization, which is in line with NEEEF.
Not all Namibians can have a fishing right.
∙ There is not enough fish (TAC) in the sea to allow all Namibians to go fishing.
∙ Those that are privileged to have a right –have a responsibility to unlock the fisheries economic potential, on behalf of all Namibians.
∙ The economic benefits of our fisheries must flow to all Namibians, since our fisheries belong to all Namibians.
Maximizing Economic Potential of Our Fisheries.
Our Fisheries economic potential is unlocked and maximized as follows:
1. Through fishing. Unless someone takes the fish out of water, and lands it, other value chain activities such as processing and marketing cannot be realized.
∙ Those who have capacity to fish realize the highest benefits from our fisheries.
∙ Policy Intention: to empower Namibians to own and operate fishing vessels
∙ Through value addition:
∙ Policy Intention: to maximize the value of our fisheries retained here in Namibia
∙ We cannot continue to export raw fish-to be value added out of the country –that is exporting processing jobs.
c) Policy (NDP5 Targets): 70% of hake is processed in Namibia. 70% of horse mackerel must be value added by 2022)
3. Through local procurement of goods and services
∙ At lease N$ 3 billion is spend on food rations, logistics, stevedoring services, financial services. These are business opportunities for our people, which need to be unlocked.
4. Through enterprise development:
∙ Our industry must invest in establishing fish shops, fish processing points, which can be run by our people in rural and urban areas. We must share the economic benefits.
5. Through revenue to the Government
∙In 2016/2017, I have tripled the resource rent (levies and fees) paid by industry into Treasury and the Ministry, from about 1-2% before 2016 of total landed value to 6% of total landed value, at the moment. Total revenue to Government is now over N$ 600 million.
Fisheries cannot do it alone…
I know all Namibians want fishing rights, and some people may think that fisheries has unlimited resources for national development. BUT:
1) The Fact is –we cannot give all Namibians fishing rights. There is simply not enough fish to go around –the TAC is limited to 530,000MT per year.
Giving too may rights would make investment in the fishing sector unprofitable.
Perhaps we are too open about fisheries, which are why everyone knows about fishing rights. Namibians must also be exposed to opportunities in our other natural and economic resources.
2) Fishing quotas must continue to contribute to national development
We must however strike a healthy balance between Governmental quotas and sustainability of our fisheries private sector, which is charged with the responsibility of doing value addition and creating much needed jobs for our youth.
3) All other economic sectors must open up opportunities for all Namibians, and maximize on Resource Rent (Government revenue) collection. Therefore, Fisheries is 3rd largest income earner in the country…others must do their share.

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