Namibian fish belongs to Namibians: Amukwa

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The chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Association (CNFA), Matti Amukwa has called out Government for allocating Governmental Objective quotas to entities that are not right holders. The chairperson was referring to among others the auction of governmental objective quotas of horse mackerel to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amukwa during the Annual Fishing Industry Address in Walvis Bay on Thursday expressed concern on behalf of the industry, saying some Namibians do not benefit from their own ocean resources as a result of this. 'I wish to clarify that Namibian fish belongs to all Namibians and not just right holders. Right holders are not entitled to Namibian fish at the exclusion of other Namibians. What we are saying is that the law in the Marine Resources Act of 2000, Section 33 provides mechanisms on how all, not a few, Namibians can benefit from Namibian fish, whether or not they are actively fishing,' he expressed. Amukwa explained that this mechanism amongs t others includes the distribution of taxes and levies paid by fishing right holders to all Namibians through the national budgeting process. 'We agree to governmental objectives and indeed the industry has been at the forefront in supporting Namibians in times of drought, floods and other calamities. We also support the process to stabilise support for governmental objectives from the fishing industry through existing right holders, as provided for in the law,' he said. There is however no need to create other quota holders for governmental objectives, contrary to the law, when this objective can be realised through existing right holders, he added. Amukwa requested that if Government wants to create new rights and quota holders outside the provided Act, then it should be done through a revision of the Act through Parliament and with full stakeholder participation. Source: The Namibian Press Agency