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Etosha to restart operations soon

2023-10-19  Eveline de Klerk

Etosha to restart operations soon

SWAKOPMUND – Etosha Fishing employees will be returning to work on 30 October after the company yesterday announced the resumption of operations to process the relief quota allocated to them by government.

The company’s 450 employees were supposed to be retrenched in July this year, as Etosha had been battling to stay afloat since 2015. 

This was due to a decline in pilchards that ultimately resulted in a ban on the harvesting of pilchards in 2017 by the government. 

Since the moratorium, the company has pursued all possible avenues to sustain employment and operations, including the importation of frozen pilchards from Morocco for local canning. 

Due to a volatile exchange rate and the high cost of importing raw materials, Etosha’s acting managing director Volker Paulsmeier earlier announced they would end

However, the government, after consultations with the relevant union and the company, allocated 5 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel to sustain employment at the company in the short term.






“Operations are only commencing in October, as Etosha Fishing had to first secure catch capacity, after which the horse mackerel quota could be landed for processing. The catching and processing of pilchards has traditionally been at the core of Etosha Fishing’s operations. However, since the pilchard moratorium was implemented in 2017, keeping the company afloat became a demanding challenge,” the company said in a statement issued yesterday.

Etosha Fishing said the allocated quota is a short-term relief measure to allow the company time to implement a turnaround strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of Namibia’s sole operational cannery.

“As a result, the intended termination process was retracted. Etosha Fishing herewith again wishes to express its gratitude to the government and the fisheries ministry for the intervention to prevent the company from closing. Etosha Fishing also extends its appreciation to the Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers Union, as well as the company’s employees for their patience and resilience amid trying times,” the company stated.

Meanwhile, fisheries minister Derek Klazen on Monday indicated that the total allowable catch for pilchards remains zero, as the acoustic survey conducted in March 2023 indicated this stock remains in an unhealthy state.

“The ministry will continue its research programmes to monitor pilchard stocks closely and reopen the fishery once the stock has recovered to a biologically sustainable level,” he said during a media briefing in Windhoek. -

2023-10-19  Eveline de Klerk

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