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Pole And Line Tuna Industry Faces Collapse Namibia, April 11, 13

A delegation of stakeholders in Namibia’s large pelagic fishing industry’s pole and line division has met with the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, in Windhoek yesterday, to discuss the dire financial straits in which most of the companies in this sector of the fishing industry currently finds themselves in.

Out of a total of 27 large pelagic fishing companies, only a handful is still operating. The rest are only paper companies, as their owners simply don’t have the funds any more to operate vessels and sustain any significant employment. This large pelagic sector is divided into the pole and line and the long line divisions. The pole and line division mainly catches tuna, but in comparison to the normal 6,000 tons of tuna landed annually, the sector only managed to land 200 tons so far this year. A financial collapse is imminent.

Stakeholders spoken to this week explained tuna (Albacore) is migrational. They believe extensive seismic surveying along the South African west coast near the Namibian border, and seismic surveying in Namibian waters in the ongoing quest to unlock the gas and oil riches of the Atlantic seafloor, have resulted in the tuna biomass relocating to other parts of the ocean.

Members of the delegation who preferred anonymity said, “We are on our knees. Those of us who have tried to weather the storm the past few years face imminent bankruptcy and we need Minister Esau to come up with a solution, failing which, this industry will close down and the few jobs and the economic activity it spawns will go bust.”