WALVIS BAY - There will be no lone rangers or selling of fishing rights by people who merely want to make a quick buck as has been the case in the past, warned the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhardt Esau.
He said that henceforth no fishing right holder will be allowed to sell their quota once the new fishing rights have been issued.
Also, he hinted that fishing right holders who did not add any value or create jobs while they had rights for more than seven years could be left out when the new fishing rights are granted to lucky applicants.
This clear message was sent out to both new entrants and old players in the fishing industry by the minister, who says that the government will not tolerate companies and right holders that do not want to be placed in joint ventures. Esau, who sounded the warnings while officially opening two fishing factories in Walvis Bay on Friday, said that some entrants in the past referred to the joined ventures as forced marriages and rather opted to sell their rights instead of working together and adding value to the fishing sector.
“We are in the business of creating jobs and adding value to our natural resources that belong to all Namibians. Hence we cannot tolerate or allow people to work along or sell their quotas to the highest bidder,” Esau said on Friday.
He explained that there is no future for such entrants as government cannot sacrifice the investments made so far in the fishing sector.
“To allow a scenario whereby quotas are being sold, and hence jobs are being lost is not an option. Fishing rights give you the right to fish, not to sell the quota and there will be no such thing this time around,” Esau stressed.
He urged those that will soon enter the fishing industry to rather focus on job creation and value addition.
“Yes we have to make a profit to reinvest in our sector as well but we should take in mind that creating jobs is not a loss-making venture. We must be smart, employ people and add value to our product,” he said.