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Fishing levy abolishment to remain in place

HENTIES BAY, 13 SEP (NAMPA) - The decision to reverse the implementation of the increased recreational angling levy will remain in place until public consultations are completed.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau made the assurance on Wednesday when he opened the first consultation meeting on the levy at Henties Bay.
The announcement of the increase from N.dollars 14 to 1 500 a month on 26 July this year, shocked the angling community especially in Henties Bay where most residents survive from angling.
Such disapproval was expressed in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, where some people said the amount was too high, while others said there were no consultations done.
Last month, Esau reversed the decision with the aim to conclude consultations and come up with a collective decision based on public inputs.
“I know businesses here depend on recreational fishing. We therefore do not want to kill the economy of this town with exorbitant charges,” the minister said.
Esau said the public had the right to be consulted before any law or policy is implemented.
He said he valued the input from the stakeholders and the public and hence he started the consultations.
The minister also explained that Government is charging the levy to recover administration costs for officials who carry out fishing control activities.
Such costs, Esau said, amount to about N.dollars 400 000 a month.
“We are unemployed and survive from the fish we buy from anglers and sell it. If the levy is high then we will not support our children,” a lady said during the discussions.
The public at the meeting suggested that N.dollars 700 or 800 a month is reasonable.
Consultations will continue in Swakopmund, Lüderitz, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.
The minister plans to complete the meetings by the end of next month where a report will be compiled and feedback given to the public.
Only then will a decisionbe made on how much the increase should be.
About 100 residents attended the one day meeting.
(NAMPA)
PKS/EKM/CT

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