The Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA) is one of the few member-based associations that were established with the help of the ministry of fisheries and marine resources in 2003.
HAFA serves as a vehicle for supporting marginalised communities in the sustainable utilising fish resources.
According to the director of HAFA, Herman Honeb, there are several ways in which HAFA contributes to wealth and job creation by conserving marine resources.
“Illegal fishing and trading is being controlled by organising impoverished communities at the coast to formally govern, manage and benefit from the national resources. While they are already contributing towards conservation efforts, they are in the process of getting honorary inspector status. This will be advanced to the ministry of environment and tourism as well, since there is poaching taking place in the area,” he says.
“HAFA is a people’s association and is thus governed and managed by a people-centred approach. It is there to ensure members benefit from a variety of services like unlimited but closely monitored individual catches for household income and food security.
“A lot of illegal fishing and trading still takes place in this country and thus the great partnership between the ministry of fisheries and marine resources and the HAFA will aggressively and jointly combat this phenomenon. We have to protect our resources and sustainably utilise them for the benefit of the generations to come,” says Honeb.
According to him, HAFA has created job opportunities for people at the coast.
“HAFA’s main purpose is to encourage self-employment through the sustainable utilisation of fish and other marine resources, which includes allowing fishermen to catch an unlimited number of fish within a controlled set-up and line fish, which is a prime product, from onshore and thereby create direct and indirect jobs under HAFA.
“The HAFA board consists of seven members who receive sitting allowances and subsistence and travel allowances. The HAFA administration employs 14 people - three management and 11 staff members - with a total annual payroll of N$1.6 million,” he says.
Honeb says there are about 500 small-scale fishermen at Henties Bay, of whom at the most 140 are HAFA members.
Task forces have been established to expand membership in the other coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
“In towns where HAFA has no offices, we have identified institutions like the Namibia Fish Consumption Trust and municipalities to serve as agents for supporting the process,” Honeb says.
According to him the best fishermen can earn up to N$20 000 per month, and the lowest-earning ones about N$4 000.
“HAFA pays out averagely N$800 000 per annum to its members and this amount is expected to increase with improved fishing operations and capacities like full-time camping, better transport support and provision of equipment and facilities. In addition, members receive benefits such as fishing gear, bait at affordable prices and on credit, health benefits, funeral cover and more.”
In partnership with the Benguela Ski-boat Association and Namaqua, HAFA has bought a ski boat in South Africa and renamed it Hanganeni. It plans to recruit around 20 full-time crew members.
The association has also established a fish shop and take-away outlet at Henties Bay.
The shop sells fresh kabeljou, galjoen, steenbras and kolstert, either whole or filleted, while the take-away outlet prepares and sells a variety of fish dishes. HAFA plans to upgrade the outlet to a restaurant where local people and visitors can sit down and enjoy fresh fish.
“It has a processing facility to add value and has started upgrading it by construction a cold room and renovating the facility. The facility is responsible for the cleaning, filleting and packaging of the fish products.
“With the demand growing quite rapidly, the processing facility will be equipped with the latest machinery, tools and technologies to add value to its fishery products,” said Honeb.
HAFA operates under the custodianship of the ministry of fisheries and marine resources and complies with all relevant laws, policies and regulations.
In line with this, HAFA has developed operational guidelines, a code of conduct and control systems for its members.
“As a new and small setup, implementation of such provisions for compliance remains a challenge; however, HAFA has no significant problems in such regard.
“We are reinforcing the working relationship with the fisheries inspectors of ministry of fisheries and marine resources. Six of HAFA’s members were selected to become honorary inspectors and they went through the screening process successfully. They are waiting for final recruitment and induction before they can formally and actively engage in the protection of marine resources,” he adds.