Namibia: 59 000 Metric Tonnes of Horse Mackerel for Govt Objectives

THE Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has set aside 59 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel for governmental objectives from the 2022 total allowable catch (TAC), 13 000 metric tonnes less than what went on auction for that purpose earlier this year.

The ministry’s public relations officer, Uaripi Katjiukua, confirmed this to The Namibian yesterday.

The Cabinet last week approved a 330 000 metric tonnes TAC for the 2022 fishing season, which starts on 1 January.

The Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations welcomed the announcement.

The associations’ chairperson, Matti Amukwa, says the TAC allocation must be based on scientific evidence.

“If the decision is based on scientific evidence, that is fine because that’s the barometer. We have to manage the resource responsibly. That’s why the scientists are there to guide us correctly. The resource is not just for us but also for generations to come,” says Amukwa.

The make-up of the allocation, which indicated who got what amount of quota, has not been made available.

Industry players want the ministry to make this information public. They are specifically asking what amount of the TAC has been allocated for commercial purposes, and how much is in reserve.

Fisheries executive director Annely Haiphene could not provide the answers.

“We are still busy with the issue. There are still consultations to be made before the final outcome is known,” she says.

Of particular concern are how much of the governmental objective quota has been allocated for natural disasters like drought, and to benefit the war veterans.

Last year, the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia was allocated 20 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel for the governmental objective quota, which they sold to acquire cans of pilchards for drought relief.

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