The cash-for-quotas scandal surrounding Icelandic whitefish giant Samherji appears to be dying down, as the company continues to quietly divest its operations in Namibia.
Vessels have already been retracted, the company said, with only the factory trawler Heinaste remaining in Namibia.
The Heinaste garnered a lot of interest during the height of the scandal beginning in November 2019, when Samherji confirmed the Heinaste had been detained by Namibian authorities, along with Captain Arngrimur Brynjolfsonn.
Samherji reported that the legal dispute was finally resolved in court, and the company will now be chartering the vessel to Namibian operators "at least temporarily."
Local publication The Namibian reported concerns from local fishermen bearing the weight of the Icelandic giant's withdrawal.
"As before stated, the companies in question will honor their obligations towards all employees. All personnel will be treated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations," said Bjorgolfur Johannsson interim CEO of Samherji.
Earlier this year, Samherji moved to clarify details of the planned sale of the vessel. Interim CEO Bjorgulfur Johannsson told IntraFish at the time thatthere was "a lack of understanding" for how the market for vessels works, adding that market prices are bound to fluctuate but that the current price is at around $19 million (€17.1 million).
Two other Samherji vessels have already been removed from Namibian waters. The Saga is reportedly undergoing maintenance work, which was planned "a while back," while the Geysir is currently fishing in Mauritania.