NAMIBIA – Minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernhard Esau says it is imperative that opportunities are opened up for the utilisation of and value addition to Namibian fishing resources.

Esau made this statement on Friday at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Atlantic Pacific Fishing factory.

The factory will cost N$250 million and will process and package horse mackerel for both local and export markets.

Atlantic is a Walvis Bay-based Namibian registered company formed through a joint venture that is 51% owned by Namibian long-term horse mackerel rights holder, Hefty Group of companies (Pty) Ltd; Joka Two Fishery (Pty) Ltd and Namibia Seaweed Processing (Pty) Ltd.

The remaining 49% is owned by Brandberg Namibia Investment Company (Pty) Ltd, which falls under China Fishery Group Ltd, a subsidiary of Pacific Andes International Holdings Ltd, based in Hong Kong.

Esau noted that the development, the exploitation and addition of value to the Namibian fisheries resources are indeed vital when viewed in the context of Namibia’s overall national development goals.

“We can give meaning to our fisheries by adding value to our materials,” he noted, further assuring that his ministry is fully aware of the prevailing economic conditions and the challenges within the fishery sector, and that government will continue to respond to the challenges in the most appropriate manner.

“We will continue to evaluate and review our policies in order to remain abreast of global economic development that has an impact on our economy” he said.

Atlantic board member, General Raonga Andima explained that the company decided to invest part of the horse mackerel fishing quota in the establishment of the new factory.

“In so doing, we have sacrificed short-term gain for long-term benefit. We humbly trust that our capital investments will not go unnoticed,” he said.

Andima also reiterated that the new factory, once complete, would be in line with government’s initiative to add value to local resources, as well as provide much needed job opportunities to Namibians.

Construction will commence this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Since it commenced operations in 2013, Atlantic has created over 120 jobs for Namibians through its fishing and other ancillary operations.

According to Andima, once the factory is completed, the company will create approximately 500 jobs including for seagoing personnel. – Nampa

August 11, 2015;