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Mussel harvesting has coastal residents up in arms

Mussel harvesting has coastal residents up in arms

Niël Terblanché
COASTAL residents expressed their disgust with the harvesting of mussels along beach at Paaljies and described it as the unabated plundering of Namibian resources.
The public outcry came after pictures and video material of the harvesting activities by several men dressed in wetsuits started spreading on social media platforms.
The activities have been spotted by concerned members of the public about a week ago and queries at the Local offices of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources indicated that the men on the beach are indeed working for a Spanish resident of Walvis Bay who has an exploratory license to harvest clams and mussels.
According to a fisheries ministry official the company has been allocated an exploratory right to harvest clams. The mussels and other resources harvested in the process are treated as by catch which the operator can keep. The license is for the harvest white mussel (donax serra), Pullet Carpet Shell (venerupis corrugate) and Otter Shell (lutraria lutraria).
The team of workers spend hours each and every day in the shallow surf harvesting thousands of mussels very day. Crates full of the shell fish can be seen standing on the beach where the team of harvesters work.
Coastal residents are worried because of the large number of mussels harvested and are unhappy because it does not seem as if the catch of each day is inspected. People are also worried about the sustainability of the harvest and what the impact on the mollusc population of the area could be.