A last-minute additional quota allocation by the fisheries ministry has led to the saving of hundreds of jobs at NovaNam, at least for the time being.
The Lüderitz-based fishing company sent home about 1 800 employees with 50% salary on 28 June after it completed catching its own quota and those of its associates and partners last week.
Employees sent home were from all levels of the business, from factory operators and fleet crew up to and including management.
“Most important for NovaNam right now is that we remain relevant to the fishing industry and that we remain relevant to the town of Lüderitz,” NovaNam’s managing director Edwin Kamatoto told New Era yesterday.
He further explained that NovaNam’s quota for the current hake season is 23% less than received in the previous seasons with the same total allowable catch.
While the company is currently evaluating the overall impact of this significant cut in its quota on its business model, Kamatoto admitted that the significant annual quota reduction has wreaked havoc on the company’s operations.
However, upon receiving confirmation of the additional quota allocation, NovaNam immediately commenced with its operational planning, particularly the return of its fleet to the fishing grounds between Wednesday and today.
“The land-based employees will be able to return to work on Tuesday 7 July when the first vessel returns with a catch,” read a media statement from the company.
Based on the quota allocated, the company should be able to operate until approximately the end of August or the first week of September.
The current fishing season ends on 30 September and the new hake fishing season commences on 1 November, as the month of October is the traditional biological stoppage period.
Kamatoto said that NovaNam has placed emphasis on operating for the full season. With a drastically reduced quota this was achieved by not operating at full capacity, thereby meaningfully stretching the operating period to keep as many people employed for as long as possible.