Powers of NFA boss up for debate

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday 23rd January 2012

THE powers vested with the National Fisheries Authority managing director will be removed under changes contained in the Fisheries Management (Amendment) Bill that is before parliament.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is acting fisheries minister, introduced the amendments to parliament last Friday.
The new law would see that the managing directors powers, including calling board meetings and issuing of licences, removed and vested with the National Fisheries Board.
“This government intends to revisit all existing Acts of parliament to make changes that will enable our people to take an active role to manage and benefit them as resource owners,” O’Neill said.
“Some of the laws were made in isolation from our people that only receive end results, whether they like it or not, especially from the management and the board.”
O’Neill said the amendment to the Fisheries Management Bill were designed to do exactly that, especially to involve small fishermen to be on the Fisheries Board and at the same time have some say in the management of the fishing industry.
“Another area of concern is regarding the frequent board meetings.
This amendment will enable the chairman or deputy chairman to have discretion on calling the meetings.”
He said in the past the managing director was appointed outside of the normal authority by the National Executive Council.
“These changes will enable the NEC to appoint the managing director and removing powers from issuing license and placing it on Fisheries Board, and not the managing director as is the case.”
He said the amendment was taking away powers on issuing license from the managing director and vesting it with the Fisheries Management Board.