The government is in the process of auctioning its objective fish quota to the highest bidder because it needs financial resources on an emergency basis to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
Fisheries minister Dr Albert Kawana said this in a letter dated 7 August and addressed to Marti Amukwa, the chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations.
Kawana wants Amukwa to inform the members to prepare themselves.
“We do not produce medicines in Namibia, nor do we manufacture medical equipment. Therefore, we are forced to compete for medicines and medical equipment in the international market. In order to obtain these items, we have to buy them with foreign currency,” Kawana said.
According to Kawana, the government has decided to auction the quota to the highest bidder.
The minister said as requested by the industry during a consultative meeting on 27 July 2020. 40% of hake and horse mackerel will be reserved for Namibia operating companies to keep jobs.
However, Kawana said local companies will be permitted to compete for the 40% reserved for them.
He said the prospectus for horse mackerel will cost N$1 500 and that of hake and monk will be N$1 000 each.
Available quotas, according to Kawana are:
- 72 000 metric tons of horse mackerel (40%) for local companies
- 11 000 metric tons of hake (40%) for the local companies
- 392 metric tons for monk that will be auctioned to the highest bidder.
Of the 40% reserved for local operating companies, Kawana said, 70% will be freezer and 30% wet.
“This decision took into account the fact that the remaining fishing season is very short, especially for hake is less than two months.”
Amukwa confirmed receiving the letter Friday evening. He said they will consult others in the sector.