13 Feb 2016 09:40am
WALVIS BAY, 13 FEB (NAMPA) The expansion of a factory for salted snoek at Walvis Bay is expected to create more than 20 employment opportunities.
The N.dollars 7 million factory owned by Freddie Fish Processors currently employs 41 factory workers and 90 seagoing employees.
At the inauguration of the enlarged factory here on Thursday, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau lauded the company for adding value to Namibian fish and for creating employment.
Esau said the ministry will continue emphasising value addition and marketing high-end value products in order to realise optimum benefits from natural resources.
He used the opportunity to urge fishing companies to empower women, youth, previously disadvantaged groups and veterans of the liberation struggle.
The minister noted that empowerment is not only done through social responsibility, but also by enabling people to own property.
He further encouraged Freddie Fish Processors to work closely with the Namibian Fish Consumption Promotion Trust to encourage Namibians to eat more salted snoek and to ensure that ordinary Namibians have access to fish from Namibian waters.
I think we need to aggressively promote the consumption of snoek in Namibia as it is currently very low. The price should not be the problem as we will make sure the fish is affordable.
On his part, Freddie Fish Processors Managing Director Wayne Hart said the factory now has a bigger floor area and more chiller storage space.
The factory could previously only handle three tonnes of snoek but with its increased capacity, it can process six tonnes, which will mean more jobs.
Our aim is to push employment figures to 60 this year. We are by far the biggest employer in this sector, with total landings ranging from 900 to 1500 metric tonnes per season, Hart told Nampa on the sidelines of the event.
There is no Total Allowance Catch (TAC) for snoek. The catch is seasonal, from October to June every year.
The fish is sold locally, but most of it is exported to South Africa, Mauritius, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reunion Island, France and Indonesia.