The Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA), which was established in 2008, now boasts a membership of 140 registered anglers.
The association was established by the fisheries ministry and partners such as the Henties Bay municipality, in order to develop and support traditional fishing for the benefit of the town’s disadvantaged inhabitants.
The association aims to encourage unemployed youth, women and pensioners to make a living from catching fish and selling it to the association, which owns a fish shop. Members pay a monthly membership fee of N$10, while other anglers pay N$14 per month for creational fishing permits. In July last year the price of a monthly permit was increased to N$1 500 a month, but the decision was reversed due to a public outcry.
The fish shop currently employees 13 people, and has plans to branch out to Khorixas, Windhoek and northern Namibia.
According to HAFA director Herman Honeb future business operations include aggressive marketing and the diversification of products, such as cleaning fish for clients, as well as smoking them and filleting.
“Other future plans include the construction of a restaurant and guest accommodation. We also have plans to branch out into aquaculture and fish/ mussel farming. In addition, we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with the Benguela Ski-boat Association, for the use of a ski-boat, with both entities benefitting from the commercial licence. The ski-boat was revamped at a cost of N$100 000, and 11 fishermen and one skipper are manning the HAFA No.1, which has caught 5 902.05kg of snoek and 3 164kg of cob,” Honeb said.
The ski-boat association and HAFA are in the process of developing training modules and schedules for members to be trained to operate the ski-boat. The joint venture will gradually see HAFA taking over the full operation of the ski-boat. The total income from ski-boat landings for November last year to January this year was N$454 795. -Additional reporting by NAMPA