Archive for the ‘Fishing in Namibia’ Category

RE: Hake sector disputes report:- the research behind the “report”

Resource rents and resource management policies in Namibia’s post-Independence hake fishery
Carola Kirchner and Anthony Leiman

Abstract
This study reviews the nature and outcomes of policies, incentives and management procedures in the Namibian hake industry from independence in 1990 to the present. It is argued that, although based on individual quotas, Namibia’s post-independence management procedures have conflicted with the State’s commitment to efficiency. Its ‘Namibianization’ policy and its attempt to increase domestic control of the hake industry both increased fishing effort and depressed hake stocks below economically optimal levels. Despite current over-capacity, government continues to reward new investments. Industry inefficiency has been further compounded by inconsistent rights allocation policies and the fragmentation of quota shares, which have reduced right-holders’ sense of stewardship over the resource. If the resulting loss of rents is to be reversed, the present policies and the associated perverse incentives will need to be re-evaluated.

This is not a “report”, but a peer-reviewed scientific publication based on real information.
The full publication can be downloaded at:

http://www.maritimestudiesjournal.com/content/13/1/7

Hake sector disputes report (Namibian, 01/10/2014)

THE NAMIBIAN – NEWS – NATIONAL | 2014-10-01
Hake sector disputes report
Adam Hartman
THE Namibian Hake Association has dismissed claims that the hake sector, the most valuable sector in Namibia’s fishing industry, is being mismanaged and that decisions are not made in a transparent manner.
The claims are carried in a 10-page report that was jointly compiled by Carola Kirchner, a former Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources specialist and Anthony Leiman. The report also claims that the stock is over-exploited and quota allocation system is questionable.

Published as part of the Maritime Studies website, the report titled ‘Resource rents and resource management policies in Namibia’s post-independence hake fishery’ was released in July this year with financial support from the Confederation of the Namibian Fishing Association. It was compiled with data provided by the fisheries ministry and the Namibian Hake Fishing Industry members.

Kirchner, who now lives in New Caledonia and runs the website, worked for the ministry for 18 years as a stock assessment specialist.

The study reviews the nature and outcomes of policies, incentives and management procedures in the hake industry since independence. It argues that although based on individual quotas, Namibia’s post-independence management procedures have been in conflict with the government’s commitment to efficiency.

“Its ‘Namibianisation’ policy and its attempt to increase domestic control of the hake industry both increased fishing effort and depressed hake stocks below economically optimal levels. Despite current over-capacity, government continues to reward new investments. Industry inefficiency has been further compounded by inconsistent rights allocation policies and the fragmentation of quota shares, which have reduced right-holders’ sense of stewardship of the resource,” the report states.

The report also covers a variety of aspects related to the sector on governmental and business levels, such as resource capacity and management, right-holders and quotas and the state of vessels.

“Like many Third World countries, Namibia faces competing imperatives. Job creation, food security, foreign exchange generation and tax revenue collection are only a few. The job of a politician is to balance these. By contrast, the fisheries scientist often looks at the long-term sustainability of the stock he or she studies, and measures success by the growth of that resource.

“There is no right and wrong in these two approaches; but behind both of them lies a simple reality: the sustainability of the resource is key to all. If the stock collapses, with it goes the jobs, the foreign exchange and the tax revenues,” the report said.

The report claims that Namibia’s commercial fisheries need proper management, which can have significant impact on the industry’s economic profitability.

“Unfortunately, the hake industry is both complex and secretive. This lack of transparency precludes [industry profits] maximisation. At the heart of the problem is the quota allocation process. Some operators expressed concern that incompetence is rewarded and that the current process is at best, dubious,” it said.

However the chairperson of the Namibian Hake Association, Matti Amukwa, says the industry believes the fisheries sector is being managed in a responsible manner by both the line ministry and the industry.

“The [total allowable catch] is being decided based on a sound and strong scientific advice. Namibian fishery policies are sought after in the world hence the international awards and recognition the industry received. Many countries envy the way we manage our fisheries resources.

“Some countries have tailor-made their fisheries policies based on ours. Regarding the dubious manner mentioned: that is a baseless accusation which is aimed at tarnishing the good image of our industry and the country at large,” Amukwa said.

Fisheries permanent secretary Ulitala Hiveluah had not responded to a request to comment on the report, and attempts to make a follow up went unanswered up to the time of going to press.

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