Seaflower Pelagic Processing ready to start operations by mid-January

Floris Steenkamp

A gentle giant is awakening in Walvis Bay’s fishing industry. This gentle giant has a name: Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd.

Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd just commissioned its freezers and expects to commence fishing ope-rations early in January 2019, already employing 420 people and prospects to double this figure. The investment to date stands on budget, at N$530 million.
The company expects to process 50 000 metric tons horse mackerel in 2019 and is looking at doubling its production output through joint ventures with other quota holders.
Namib Times was given an exclusive preview of Seaflower Pelagic Processing’s processing plant recently. Without doubt this 14 000 square meters facility sets a new pace, both in Namibia and the other fishing industries on the west coast of Africa.
Contractors and staff of the company are working around the clock to complete the freezing plant by mid-January. The freezing plant is one of three production units at Seaflower Pelagic Processing. The other production units are a fishmeal plant where off-cuts and broken fish will be produced into fishmeal and a cannery which comes into operation by mid-2019. At this cannery the company plans to produce canned fish under its own label: ”Princess Brand”.
The freezing plant em-ploys 420 people. Most of the appointments have been finalised and everyone is ready for the plant’s start-up”, explained media spokes-person of Seaflower Pelagic Processing, Ratonda Katjivikua, last Friday during the news-paper’s visit. Adding the company’s two fishing vessels employ 22 sea-going personnel in total, the cannery will employ 200 people and the fishmeal plant 12 peo-ple. Therefore employing approximately seven times more Namibians per ton fish processed compared to sea frozen factory trawlers.
Contrary to the perception that Seaflower Pelagic Processors is foreign-owned, Katjivikua explained quite the opposite. The company is 40 % owned by Fishcor and the remaining 60 % is owned by African Selection Fishing Namibia which is turn is 95 % Namibian-owned and 5 % foreign owned.
“Fishcor brought a 50 000 tons horse mackerel quota to the table. Our processing facility has a capacity of more than double this 50 000 tons. We explore opportunities to form joint ventures with other quota holders. These joint ventures stand to benefit all parties involved and holds the prospects to create more employment opportunities for Seaflower Pelagic Processors”, further explained Adolf Burger, the General Manager.
Seaflower Pelagic Processors also shifted the benchmark when it comes to the finer details of employment creation. Apart from a strong gender balance (70 % women and 30 % men) and 90 % youth, the company went into detailed efforts to em-ploy people from marginalised communities, disabled persons and youth. In this respect positions were reserved for three males and nine females from the Ovahimba communities and ten positions for people from the San communities.
The company identified men from the San communities already employed at Walvis Bay and invited their spouses living in the traditional areas to apply for positions at Sea-flower. In this way these families can be re-united.

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