Atlantic Challenge Trawls Mid-Water

Affirming their commitment to the National Development Agenda, Namsov Fishing Enterprises announced this week it has chartered the “Atlantic Challenge as a critical part of our local feasibility study.”. This is in response to the call to industry by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Bernard Esau for fishing companies to meaningfully explore large-scale horse mackerel processing on land.

In a statement released earlier this week, Namsov said the vessel was built in 1999, has an overall length of 59 metres, is 14 metres wide and has a gross registered tonnage of 1783 tonnes.

Namsov Fishing Enterprises is the largest operator in the mid-water trawl industry targetting horse mackerel. The company has made consistent and substantial investments in infrastructure and catch effort over many years. Incorporated in 1990 as a joint venture between Manica and Russian operators, Namsov quickly realised the key to profitable operations from a low-value commodity, was to control their own fleet.

On 31 August 2010, Namsov received its new mid-water behemoth, the MFV Jupiter. At that time it was considered the single largest investment in the fishing industry. The then Managing Director, Jan Arnold told the Namibian, the MFV Jupiter constituted an investment exceeding N$200 million. The motive for acquiring such a large vessel was to enable the company to catch and process 180 tonnes of horse mackerel every day during season.

This major capital investment was preceded, in 2009, by the acquisition of a vessel, the MFV Otaman Kalnyshevsky from Industrial Fishery and Shipping “Captain” Company Limited. At that stage, Namsove said the vessel has been acquired as part of a planned fleet renewal programme designed to upgrade the Namsov fleet profile to more modern vessels, with larger processing and storage capacities, which are expected to enhance efficiencies and productivity.

The MFV Otaman Kalnyshevsky was built in Germany in 1990. The MFV Otaman Kalnyshevsky was acquired for a total sum of N$208.8 million. The consideration has been settled through N$130 million financing arranged by Namsov, through banking institutions in Namibia, with the balance settled from Namsov’s own cash resources. Namson Fishing Enterprises said it is committed to persue the shore-based processing of horse mackerel in line with the ministry’s aspirations, aising that board approval has been obtained to invest significant amounts of capital expenditure to create such a facility.

Source : Namibia Economist