Public asks questions as to how Fermar Seafoods could have obtained white mussel license

Floris Steenkamp

The coast’s angling fraternity expressed their appreciation this week for the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ prompt action to cancel the experimental license of Fermar Seafoods CC to harvest clams along the coast between Pelican Point and Paaltjies at Walvis Bay.

The white mussel (Donna serra) is also classified as a clam and therefore Fermar Seafoods was within its right to harvest white mussel, but the Namibian public, including anglers, were afraid this would instantly wipe out the white mussel populations. Hence the appreciation the Ministry withdrew the licence and all harvesting that stopped promptly.
Amidst satisfaction, there were also those who have questions as to how such a licence could have been approved in the first place, and secondly how the Permanent Secretary of Fisheries Dr. Moses Maurihungirire could have subsequently approved an exemption to Fermar to reduce the size of the white mussel from 38mm to 28mm.
“We would like the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources to seriously look into the Fermar case”, we feel there are a lot of answers still not provided to the Namibian public”, a group of anglers told the Namib Times.

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