Namibia: Seaflower Quota Extended to Save 655 Jobs

10 August 2020

Walvis Bay — Walvis Bay based Seaflower Pelagic Processing was thrown a temporary lifeline on Friday when the Erongo governor, Neville Andre, on Friday during his weekly media briefing announced the government awarded the horse mackerel holder an additional quota to save 655 jobs.

The temporary measure will last until the end of the current fishing season that ends on 31 December.

Employees of the Seaflower pelagic lost jobs in June after government backtracked on its initial agreement that guaranteed a 50 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel quota for 15 years, starting 2017, through Fishcor.

However, the company this year only received 21 000 metric tonnes, resulting in job losses and employees had to stage peaceful demonstrations to plead with the government to reinstate their quota.

Andre on Friday said the quota was awarded as part of the Fishcor's short-term solution to address its woes while it sought a long-term solution to save jobs.

"The idea is for them to return to their jobs as soon as possible while a permanent solution is being worked out, he said. However, he noted that the temporary solution is expected to at least secure jobs until the end of the current fishing season.

CEO of Seaflower, Adolf Burger on Friday told New Era they heard about the quota allocation but are yet to receive official confirmation.

The Seaflower Pelagic Processing plant was established in 2017, as a joint venture between the government-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) and Namibian business entity African Selection Fishing.

Burger earlier said there is confusion in terms of the two factories in which Fishcor has a stake. Fishcor owns only 40% of Seaflower Pelagic Processing, while it fully owns the Seaflower Whitefish Processing plant at Lüderitz.

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