- Namibia's Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has expressed concern over the state of the fishing industry. Last year ended with news of retrenchments and 2005 started with more news of Namibian factories closing down.
A statement issued by Namibia's acting Permanent Secretary Moses Maurihungirire said: "The current difficulties in the fishing industry are a matter of concern to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the entire government. This kind of trend can ramify into serious social and economic problems."
The Permanent Secretary of the Windhoek Ministry of Fisheries said for the last few years the industry had been hard hit by financial problems induced by external factors.
He listed high crude oil prices and the weakening of major currencies such as the US dollar as the contributing factors to the dire situation.
The high oil prices resulted in soaring operational costs, and the weak currency had a negative effect on the income of an industry based on exports.
- Both these factors have contributed to reduced net income of the fishing industry, thereby forcing some companies to lay off some of their employees, said Mr Maurihungirire.
Referring in particular to the factory closure of Blue Ocean Products at Walvis Bay - southern Namibia's major town and port - the Permanent Secretary called on relevant parties to resolve the issue, which he said was labour-based, with strict adherence to the Labour Act.
Mr Maurihungirire however said the Ministry was confident the issue could be addressed by the Ministry of Labour, the Office of the Labour Commissioner, the relevant trade unions and company management.
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