Judge rips into Seaflower Pelagic Processing relationship

Staff Writer

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula has issued a scathing judgment in which he described the case brought by Seaflower Pelagic Processing against the fisheries ministry, as being part of desperate bid to retain its beneficial relationship with Fishcor.

The Deputy Judge President last month ruled against the company’s bid to stop Government from auctioning more than 24,000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel, which was being done as part of efforts to raise additional funding for COVID-19 related activities.

“Against that background it seems to me that the present application is a desperate attempt by the applicant to save its cozy but parasitic relationship with Fishcor,” part of the full judgment read.

Angula questioned why Seaflower Pelagic Processing had failed to apply for fishing quotas like other fishing companies, questioning its claims that failure to receive the Fishcor quota will impact its operations.

“In my view, the applicant was well-advised to submit bids and join other fishing companies to compete on equal terms for the quotas instead of crying over spilled milk,” he said.

“What is clear is that those who were the directing mind of the applicant at the time of the conclusion of the agreements between the applicant and Fishcor, as industry experts hand-picked by Fishcor, ought to have known that the undertaking by Fishcor to make available 50,000 mt every year for 15 years would only be possible under a corrupt environment. It is not viable under a regime where there is a strict compliance with the law, particularly with the provisions of the MRA.”

In its application, Seaflower Pelagic Processing had argued that its agreement with Fishcor ensures that it would receive 50,000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel annually, until 2033.

Amid concern over the viability of the business, government in June and August, awarded Seaflower Pelagic 5,000 and 4,000 metric tonnes for exclusive use in its factories in order to ensure the company does not lay off all of its workers.

Government raised bids of N$628 million from the auction of fishing quotas, but is still to provide specifics about the auction process.

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