WALVIS BAY - A state-of the-art N$45 million fish processing plant that will see fresh fish available within two days both locally and internationally after being caught, officially opened its doors at Walvis Bay on Friday.
The processing plant, Seagull Fish Processors, is a joint venture between, Merlus and newcomers, Abroma Fishing, Oryx Fishing, Helgoland Fishing, Ocean Gate Fishing, Oshona Fishing, Ehanga Holdings, Namibia Fishermen Association, Agatha Bay fishing and Namibia Development Trust.
Apart from that, its partners invested N$ 23 million in a modern ice plant so that fish retains its freshness while being exported internationally.
The factory will process, package and distribute on an average 30 tonnes of high-quality fish products within Southern
Africa and created 200 more jobs for the fishing sector.
Director of company, Julion Lloves said that the idea of supplying fresh fish has been tried and tested by many others and proves to be a lucrative yet very challenging business concept.
However, he says hard work and dedication will be one of the key ingredients in ensuring that the business model continues to grow and add value to Namibia.
“Supplying fresh fish looks easy but it is a risky business and requires all our dedication and hard work,” he said.
He added that people around the world wants to look and see the freshness of fish before they would buy and that they have stepped up to fill that gap.
Lloves however stressed the importance of outside partners in terms of distribution and marketing of their products on a larger scale to both European and African markets.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau applauded the partners saying that these are the kind of joint ventures government wants to see within the fishing industry.
‘’I am glad that Merlus Fishing, as a bigger brother in this venture, has joined up with smaller newcomers to create this joint venture company. This clearly reflects on government’s vision for the industry in terms of partnerships between existing operators and new entrants that were granted fishing rights in the past,” he said.
According to Esau, such joint ventures promote skills development while strengthening investments, create jobs and ensure the previously disadvantaged benefits from the country’s resources.
“Hence, I want to reiterate that government’s policy on value addition and job creation is unstoppable. Our people need jobs, thus we must encourage landing our wet fish and processing it onshore,” Esau said.