Oceana Buys Fish From New Right Holders to Stay Afloat

OCEANA Group, the fishing company with operations in Namibia and South Africa, has resorted to buying fish from new right holders in Namibia to keep its operations going.

Like many big fishing companies in Namibia, Oceana has had to deal with a lower fishing quota after the ministry of fisheries decided a few years ago to accommodate new right holders.

The 2015 Namibian horse mackerel Total Allowable Catch (TAC) was set at 350 000 tonnes.

“The ministry of fisheries and marine resources continued to allocate further quota to the new rights holders which resulted in a reduction of owned quota held by the group. As a result the percentage of purchased quota has increased over the period in order to maintain appropriate overall quota requirements,” Oceana said in interim results the six months ended 31 March 2015.

The group said catch rates in Namibia have improved over the period resulting in increased revenue. However, it was quick to add that margins in Namibia have been aersely impacted by the cost of additional purchased quota and the timing of owned quota caught, when compared to the same period last year.

Catch rates in South Africa have been significantly reduced due to the continued scarcity of horse mackerel in our traditional fishing grounds. Profit from horse mackerel in South Africa decreased as a direct result of lower tonnage caught for the period.

“Horse mackerel pricing is under pressure following an oversupply of fish in the market originating from Namibia, Angola and Mauritania,” it said.

Oceana’s group revenue has shown satisfactory growth for the six months ended 31 March 2015, increasing by 9%, primarily due to growth in three of its four divisions, led by an increase of 13% in the canned fish and fishmeal division and the positive effect of a weaker exchange rate.

Group earnings for the period have declined as a result of increased quota costs and aerse conditions in the horse mackerel division offsetting the positive performance of the remaining divisions. Basic earnings per share and basic headline earnings per share decreased by 11% over the same period.

In terms of pilchard, the initial 2015 South African Total Allowable Catch for pilchard decreased to 75 443 tonnes (2014: 90 000 tonnes). It is anticipated that this will return to prior year levels once the provisional TAC is reviewed later this year. Pilchard landings at the St Helena Bay cannery have been good. The Namibian pilchard TAC for 2015 is 25 000 tonnes (2014: 30 000 tonnes).

Source : The Namibian