Saturday 17 April 2021
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Fisheries cannot solve all the problems: Amukwa

Namibia’s limited marine resources should not be put under pressure to resolve all the problems facing Namibia, said Confederation of Namibian Fishing Association Chairman Matti Amukwa.
In a statement issued this week, Amukwa said: “We would like to encourage other ministries, which are custodians of a national resource, like Mines and Energy or many others, to adopt the same pragmatic and open approach when allocating rights and licenses for those resources under their control, just like the MFMR.”
He added that the sound exploitation of national resources is a collective task and it should be done with the principles of true Namibianization and the empowerment of Namibians who are ready to work and add value to that resource bestowed by our government but not for selfish trade and enrichment.
Amukwa is also of the view that “the open and transparent approach to the granting of fishing rights is putting the MFMR under extreme pressure.”
“The Ministry can only allocate quotas in line with the size of the fish resource. Issuing more rights, and therefore more quotas than the resource can carry, will deplete the resource and result in reducing catch rates. At the same time, thousands of existing jobs and tax generating infrastructure are at stake if access to the resource is denied. Therefore, while the interest by the public is great, it must be understood that not all can be successful,” he said.
“Most species were overfished and the resource was in a deplorable state. The MFMR, through its fishing management system was able to improve the state of many of the species. Today, the horse mackerel, hake and monk are being fished nearly at the maximum sustainable yield. However, not all species have unfortunately reacted positively to the management strategy and the pilchard has been placed under a fishing moratorium, which will hopefully assist this specie in its recovery,” he said.
According to Amukwa: “The MFMR has always embraced an open and transparent approach to allocate such resource to broad based rights holders, however it must be understood by all that the resource is limited and not every single applicant can be successful but rather those ready to add value and invest in the growth of the current industry.”
Amukwa said the fisheries ministry has aimed at granting fishing rights to a wide sector of the population, youth, war veterans, marginalized communities, people with disabilities and women.
With request for applications for fishing rights being advertised in the media as well as consultative meetings in the regions, Amukwa said such initiatives are indications of how transparent the process is.
“We applaud the MFMR for being so transparent and people centered. The reality is that the MFMR cannot allocate fishing rights to all applicants but we welcome wholeheartedly those who are going to be successful in their right application to join the industry and continue building on the strong foundation already in place and not use the industry as an ATM, cash cow or a get rich quick scheme,” he said.

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