Windhoek – The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) has initiated an investigation into alleged price fixing of quota usage fees in the country’s fishing industry. This investigation follows evidence suggesting potential collusion among various fishing vessel owners and operators.
According to Namibian Press Agency (NAMPA), NaCC Corporate Communications Practitioner, the commission received indications of possible cooperative behavior among vessel owners and operators on 18 August 2023 and 22 September 2023. The collusion allegedly involves fixing the costs of fishing quota usage, paid by vessel owners/operators to fishing rights holders. These rights holders, who do not own vessels, sell their assigned quotas to vessel operators at a set price.
//Gowases explained that fishing rights holders, who receive annual quotas from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, are required to fully utilize them each fishing season. As a result, those without vessels enter into quota usage agreements with vessel owners. It is alleged that these owners and operators prioritize their own quotas, leaving fishing rights holders with little choice but to accept any offered quota usage fees.
The NaCC’s investigation aims to determine if the conduct of these vessel owners and operators constitutes a violation of specific sections of the Act, which deal with the fixing of purchase or selling prices or other trading conditions.