Many Namibian fishing companies find themselves swimming with the sharks when they enter the country’s robust fishing industry, but for Cavema Fishing, being bold, innovative and resilient is key for survival.
With a staff compliment of 120 people, Cavema Fishing does not have any fishing rights, it sources its quota from some of its shareholders.
Give us a brief introduction of Cavema Fishing?
Cavema Fishing (Pty) Ltd was created as a joint venture between two Namibian quota holders, namely Camoposatu and Vernier Investments (Pty) Ltd., in an effort to optimise efficiencies and fishing capacity through the pooling of quota resources.
The shareholding structure of the firm reflects Namibian beneficial ownership, which is in line with the national drive for the industry to get more Namibians on board and to demonstrate a tangible commitment towards empowering previously disadvantaged Namibians.
The company is involved in fishing, processing and marketing activities in the Namibian Mid-Water Fishery. The commercial fishing is done by factory freezer trawlers while the final product is discharged and distributed via Cold Storage facilities in the port of Walvis Bay.
The main product harvested and produced is Horse Mackerel (Trachurus capensis). Horse Mackerel is a relatively low value and high-volume fish resource that is marketed to West Africa and Southern Africa as a source of affordable protein. The operation harvests, processes and distributes about 35,000 tons of horse mackerel per annum.
The Patriot spoke to Robert Shimooshili who is the Head of Operations and Human Resources at Cameva.
Can you tell us about the asset portfolio of the company? This can be vessels or factories etc.
Cavema Fishing (Pty) Ltd. is the proud owner and operator of a factory freezer trawler M/V”Cavema Star” (ex “Flipper 9”). The vessel is under Namibian flag and INSB class.
M/V”Cavema Star” is NSI compliant with regular inspections being done by the relevant authorities.
In 2016, the “Cavema Star” (ex “Flipper 9”) was modernized and refitted to ammonia-based freezing equipment, dramatically reducing her carbon footprint and emissions of greenhouse gases. As a result it is the only Midwater trawler in Namibia working on ammonia based refrigeration equipment.
Our Vessel in Numbers:
• Length Overall – 91 mtrs
• Daily Processing Capacity – 160 tons
• Holding Capacity – 1600 tons
• Main Engine Fuel – HFO 180
• Annual Production – 32,000 tons of final product
• Estimated Vessel Value – N$ 160 Million
In terms of corporate social responsibility, how is the company doing?
Cavema Fishing (Pty) Ltd. is very conscious of the significant socioeconomic challenges facing our communities. As a result the company has formulated a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme to streamline its efforts in this regard.
Recently the company contributed N$ 100,000.00 that was shared between the Omuthitu Combined School, Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation and a medical student. In addition the company donated N$ 300,000.00 to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication in 2017.
Being a local company, how do you deal with competition in the fishing industry and what growth strategies has the company adopted over the years to remain competitive ?
Our company is a relatively young player in the Namibian Fishing Industry but we have proven ourselves to be bold, innovative and resilient in a difficult and challenging environment.
We have embraced new technology and continuous skills transfer as the best way forward to improve efficiencies and increase our competitive edge.
Of late the industry has been overburdened by above inflation increases in various levies, taxes, fees and other costs. At the same time, we are experiencing strong competition from our neighbors fishing in Angola and supplying our traditional markets at low prices.
In terms of value addition, what measures does Cavema Fishing have in place to ensure that value is added to fish products before they leave the country?
In line with the latest 5th National Development Plan of Namibia, Cavema Fishing (Pty) Ltd. is focusing on value Addition and maximization of economic benefits from marine resources. All efforts support the aim and objectives of improving and increasing value addition in the horse mackerel sector of the economy.
Despite the difficult task of creating further value from the horse mackerel resource, the company is working hard in terms of research and development with increased budget and effort focusing on the job at hand.
Lastly, share with us the future plans of the company, both long term and short term?
Cavema Fishing (Pty) Ltd. is cautiously optimistic in what the future holds for the company.
The Macro and Micro Environments are relatively conducive for further growth and development of the fishery sector of the Namibian economy. Scientific research indicates healthy horse mackerel stocks and general state of the pelagic marine resources. Markets are relatively stable with most Southern African economies showing signs of recovery and improved future economic growth.
Given all of the above and the continuous cooperation between the Ministry of Fisheries and the private sector, the company is positive about the short to medium term.
Much of the company focus will be on improving efficiencies, increasing value addition efforts and investing in new technologies. Quota pooling and consolidation efforts will continue in order to ensure gradual growth.