Etosha Fishing herewith informs that its cannery will resume operations on 30 October 2023 to process the Horse Mackerel relief quota allocated by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in June this year. The intended purpose of the quota allocation, as approved by Cabinet, is to sustain employment at the company in the short term.

Operations are only commencing in October as Etosha Fishing had to first secure catch capacity, after which the Horse Mackerel quota could be landed for processing.

The catching and processing of pilchards has traditionally been at the core of Etosha Fishing’s operations. However, since the pilchard moratorium was implemented in 2017, keeping the company afloat became a demanding challenge. This week the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources during a Cabinet briefing announced that the pilchard moratorium will remain in place until such time as the stock has recovered to a biologically sustainable level.

Even though Etosha Fishing has explored various avenues to sustain employment and operations over the past five years, including the importation of frozen pilchards for local value addition, the company has suffered substantial annual losses. As the situation reached unsustainable levels, Etosha Fishing in March this year initiated procedures to terminate employment of all its 430 employees. The 5,000mt Horse Mackerel quota was allocated to Etosha Fishing as a short-term relief measure to allow the company time to implement a turnaround strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of Namibia's sole operational cannery. As a result, the intended termination process was retracted.

Etosha Fishing herewith again wishes to express its gratitude to the Namibian Government and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, in particular the Honourable Minister Derek Klazen, for the intervention to prevent the company from closing. Etosha Fishing also extends its appreciation to the Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers Union (NASAWU) and the company’s employees for their patience and resilience amid trying times.


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