JOHANNESBURG – Namibia plans to auction the right to catch horse mackerel and hake off its coast to foreign fishing vessels to urgently raise money to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s fisheries ministry on Monday announced plans to sell 60% of its so-called Governmental Objective Fish Quota. Along with tourism, beef and mining, fishing is one of Namibia main sources of foreign exchange.
“Government is in need of financial resources on an emergency basis with a view to mitigate the effects of Covid-19,” the Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Albert Kawana said on Monday. “We do not produce medicines in Namibia nor do we manufacture medical equipment.”
The auction, the first of its kind, will see the sale of the right to catch 72,000 tons of horse mackerel and 11,000 tons of hake.
Of that 40% will be reserved for local buyers. In addition the right to catch 392 tons of monk fish will be sold to the highest bidder.
Namibia has confirmed 3,101 cases of the virus and has recorded 19 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.