The Executive Director of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annely Haiphene says the ministry has prioritised the finalisation of the long-awaited scorecard system in the current financial year.
The scorecard aims to award fishing quotas to companies in a transparent manner based on their performance in criteria such as value addition and job creation. The Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations recently called on the government to speed up the implementation of the scorecard amidst allegations of mismanagement of the quota allocation system. The Fisheries and Marine Resources Ministry has been developing the scorecard since 2015 with input from the industry.
In response, the Executive Director of Fisheries and Marine Resources revealed at Walvis Bay that the ministry has prioritised implementing the scorecard in the current financial year.
"We acknowledge that the process has taken too long owing to its complexities. The purpose of the quota allocation mechanism is to provide the government and the fishing industry with a transparent, predictable, and stable means of quota allocation. This will further assist the fishing industry in planning their operations better and making sound investment decisions while still meeting governmental socio-economic objectives."
Although the criteria for the score card were already agreed upon, it has been challenging to decide how much weight each criteria should carry.
"What was lacking is the weight to be allocated to each criteria. If I say you are making an investment, this is the weight that will be applied, and therefore, when I apply, this is the amount of quota you can get. So that is really what was missing, and as we speak as a ministry internally, we have allocated this weight. That's why we are saying we are now going to consult the industry and then reach an agreement on this. That was the stumbling block in the finalisation of the score card."
Haiphene says a wider industry consultation regarding the scorecard will soon take place.