Fishing quotas: SPYL, eastern governors unhappy – Fishing

Fishing quotas: SPYL, eastern governors unhappy - Fishing

OGONE TLHAGE and KENYA KAMBOWE

WINDHOEK/RUNDU

Kavango East and Zambezi governors have expressed concern that low fishing right allocations to their regions may be due residents’ lack of understanding of how the application process works.

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) in Kavango East said it was concerned that despite the region having one of the highest rates of unemployment, it received some of the lowest allocations nationwide.

Fisheries minister Albert Kawana last week announced which companies had qualified for fishing rights, bringing to a close an almost three-year application and vetting process that had been started by his predecessor, Bernhardt Esau.

The Kavango West Region was allocated 0.4% of the fishing rights, while Kavango East and Zambezi got 0.6% and 1.4% respectively.

“In terms of the allocations, it is very low,” Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo said.

According to him, the low rights allocation could also be attributed to whether there was enough interest from residents in his region.

“Somebody will be expecting the region to do well but the question comes – what was the number of applicants? As much as the percentage was low, what were the dynamics?” he asked.

Wakudumo had hoped that there would be more interest in future.

‘We got nothing’

“It was a learning process. My wish [is] I would love to see the percentage go up, maybe we can also initiate and engage so that people can be capacitated so that we reach those levels,” Wakudumo said.

Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu said his region needs to make more efforts to sensitise Zambezi residents to apply for fishing rights in future.

“As a region, we will have to sensitise our people to apply. It is not the ministry of fisheries’ problem but the people’s problem, and we have to sensitise them,” he said.

SPYL secretary for Kavango East Anselm Marungu voiced his disappointment at the low rights allocation his region received.

According to him, policymakers should have considered poor regions during the allocation programme.

“Being the poorest regions, our expectation was that maybe the regions would get something, but we got nothing. The 0.6% is nothing for us and we are not happy,” he said.

Marungu asked for assistance from top government officials to correct the rights allocation matter and allocate resources to Kavango East residents.

Kavango West governor Sirrka Ausiku refused to comment on her region’s allocation.

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