Namibia fishing vessel. (Photo:heimsnet)
Horse mackerel TAC now shared by more companies
Friday, September 07, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Ten new fishing companies have entered the horse mackerel industry and a major firm is worried its horse mackerel quota will be reduced and its profitability affected.
Bidvest Namibia, a dual-listed company on the Namibia and the Johannesburg stock exchange, told its investors this week that its bottom line could be strongly impacted by the change: the 12 existing right holders now have to share the total allowable catch (TAC) with 10 more right holders.
The lowering of its quota “is expected to have a material adverse effect on the profitability of Bidvest Namibia,” the company warned its shareholders, and stated that with other industry players, they were “considering what action should be taken in relation to the allocation of these quotas.” Thus, a working group has been developed to approach the Fisheries Ministry about the quotas, according to an advertisement released by Bidvest Namibia, The Namibian reports.
“The full allocation of the 2012 horse mackerel quota has not yet been finalised. In the event [that] the final allocation of the TAC results in lower tonnages being made available to our horse mackerel fleet, revenue in the 2013 financial year will be negatively impacted,” Bidvest warned.
“Assuming lower horse mackerel quotas are allocated to the fishing division, the overall profit contribution from the fishing division may well be lower next financial year,” the company added.
Foreign trawlers in Namibian waters also may jeopardise the profitability of local fishing companies, it was reported earlier this year.
For the year ended 30 June 2012, Bidvest had a trading profit of NAD 646.6 billion (USD 75.6 billion), of which NAD 559.6 billion (USD 65.4 million), or 87 per cent, came from fishing.
Anna Erastus, the director of policy, planning and economics in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, this week confirmed that although the TAC has been increased to 298,000 tonnes, there are now 10 new players in the market to contend with.
At the same time, Erastus said she was unaware of why Bidvest made such an announcement. “If there is anybody who is supposed to complain, it’s the new right holders,” Erastus added.
Relatedly, Walvis Bay’s seasonal pelagic fishing industry could soon become an all-season employer and skyrocket its job creation capacity by catching horse mackerel in the mid-water trawl sector as a wet fish, then freezing and packing it on land.
A submission has been made to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources for a 20,000 ton-quota, but currently the main challenges of the pelagic sector are low annual quotas due to the depletion of Namibia’s pilchard biomass and the sector’s heavy reliance on seasonal work, Informante reports.
By Natalia Real