Namsov cry foul again

27 March 2015 Author  

front namsov 27 marchFishing giant Namsov has once again taken the ministry of fisheries and marine resources to court over the allocation of fishing quotas for the 2014/15 fishing season. It appears the company remains bitter following its empty court victory late last year.

In the latest application filed with the Windhoek High Court on Thursday last week, Namsov cites the ministry of fisheries and marine resources and Government as first and second respondents, respectively.

Namsov wants the fisheries ministry to make available the full particulars of all considerations, factors and circumstances that the ministry took into account when it allocated the annual quotas of horse mackerel for the 2014/2015 fishing season.

Namsov is once more demanding an explanation on the considerations made for the purpose of allocating their quota for horse mackerel in the above mentioned season.

The fishing giant further requested the full particulars of all the considerations taken into account for the purpose of allocating quotas to the following companies: Arechanab Fishing and Development, Atlantic Harvesters of Namibian, Atlantic Sea Products, Cerocic, Emeritus Fishing, Diaz Fishing Company, Erongo Sea Products, Genedev Fishing Resources, Kuiseb Fish Enterprises, Mediva Fisheries, Ongwe Fishing, Venier Investments, Sinco Investments 27, Hefdy Group of Companies, Camoposatu Investment, Gazania Investment, Joka Two Fishing, Yukor Fishing, Spotot Fishing, Mack Fishing, Omualu Fishing and Namibian Seaweed Processing.

Namsov also wants the ministry to make available all considerations taken into account for the purpose of retaining “reserves” from the total allowable catch for the seasons 2011 to 2015, and the purpose for which such quantities were retained.

The company accused the ministry of inconsistency in the allocation of quotas, stating that despite the fact that it complied with all the criteria for the allocation of consistent horse mackerel quotas for the 2011-2015 seasons, their allocation had been steadily reduced from 63 834 metric tonnes in 2010 to 33 615 metric tonnes in 2015.

“There could be no explanation for this other than the animosity harboured by the ministry towards Namsov,” the application by Namsov reads.

Namsov further accused the minister of nepotism and favouritism claiming that Namibia Seaweed processing was granted quota allocations outside the period as advertised for the other 10 new right holders, without any explanation by the minister.

“The new right holders were allocated between 38 and 45 percent of the total allowable catch for the seasons ranging from 2012 to 2015, it is significant that the entity with the highest allocation of 8 percent of the TAC amongst the so called ‘new right holders’ is Omualu Fishing.”

In the application Namsov alleges that Anna Erastus, the director of policy planning and economics in the ministry of fisheries and marine resources is a shareholder and / or director of Omualu Fishing.

Namsov again raised the issue of the illegality of the minister’s actions last year when he allocate horse mackerel quotas from 2014 reserve quotas to entities who were non-right holders.

Namsov contends that the minister took this “illegal decision” because of either nepotism or favouritism.

“Since the minister self evidently could not produce nepotism or favouritism as a reason or justification for his allocation of such quotas, he could not risk informing Namsov of the real true considerations and criteria he has taken into account for purposes of making such allocations.

“To avoid his true motivations behind the allocations being revealed, the minister was constrained and could not provide any response to the continued and persistent request of Namsov,” the application reads.

In his ruling at the end of last year, Judge Shafimana Ueitele stated that the allocation of horse mackerel quotas to the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia and two fishing associations was unlawful and irregular.

He however did not set aside the minister’s horse mackerel quota allocations.

Namsov and Atlantic Harvesters were asking the court to not only review and set aside horse mackerel quotas allocated to some of their competitors and to declare that those allocations were contrary to the marine resources act or the constitution, but also to order the minister to immediately implement an alleged decision to award bigger quotas to the two companies.

Namsov, a subsidiary of the publicly traded company Bidvest Namibia, was also asking the court to order fisheries minister Bernhard Esau to implement an alleged decision to award an additional quota of 13 337 metric tons of horse mackerel to Namsov for the 2014 fishing season.

The ministry of fisheries and marine resources was served with the papers on Monday this week and the ministry is yet to file its response with the High Court
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