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Estimating present and future profits within the Namibian hake industry: a bio-economic analysis

CH Kirchner


Namibia’s fishing industry is managed using a system of fishing rights and individual fishing quotas. This property rights system was intended to encourage the local fishing industry to exploit the resource responsibly. Unfortunately, unintended perverse incentives have promoted induced overcapacity and inefficient use of vessels. In combination with inconsistent quota allocations, the result has been persistent pressure on the already depleted biological resource. This paper uses a bio-economic model to estimate actual and potential profits in Namibia’s hake fishery. N$300 million annual profit was not realised due to the depressed state of the resource. Mean annual profits for the years 2007–2009 were N$80 million, which provides the fishing industry, as a whole, only about 36% of the potential normal profit. Theoretically this implies that the fishing industry would probably receive better returns with less risk if they invested their money elsewhere. This study demonstrates that by rationalising quotas and improving management, better efficiency and higher profits for the fishers and government could be obtained.

Keywords: freezer trawlers, Namibia, wetfish

African Journal of Marine Science 2014, 36(3): 283–292