Mekarilakha joins Marco Fishing
The new shareholders and Board of Directors of Marco Fishing visited the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resource, Hon Benard Esau, earlier this week to inform him of the recent changes in shareholding and the company’s future plans.
Marco Fishing (Marco) and Mekarilakha Fishing (MEKA) decided to pool their resources, with MEKA taking up 25% of the shares in Marco. The new company said in a statement issued this week, it is now in a position to exploit the fishing rights and quotas of both right holders. Apart from the hake quotas of both Marco and MEKA this also includes the large pelagic fishing rights granted to companies affiliated to Marco.
Marco Fishing is one of the smaller right holders and has been operating in Lüderitz since 1993. The company also diversified by investing in the large pelagic sector. Over the years investments valued in excess of N$100 million have been made and includes six vessels, a processing factory, offices, stores, cold storage and a polystyrene box factory.
Mekarilakha Fishing is a Joint Venture (JV) of five new right holders, as grouped together by the ministry. The JV was granted a fishing quota for the first time in 2012 and over the past four years they have resorted to catch agreements with various operators. However, as this did not fit in with the vision of the company, the shareholders decided to revisit the original business concept which includes participation in all aspects of the supply chain, i.e. fishing activities, processing and marketing. By acquiring 25% shares in Marco the company has made a significant investment in ownership of fishing vessels and processing facilities, joint control of the Lüderitz-based operations and contribution to new and existing job security.
The new board of directors consists of three directors appointed by Marco and two directors by MEKA.
With the additional hake quota of MEKA in mind the new board decided to expand the Marco fleet by ordering a new hake longline vessel. This vessel is currently under construction and should be operational by the middle of 2017.
The increased catch capacity also requires increased processing capacity and together with the objective to focus on its Lüderitz operations the board has approved the extension of the factory and the investment in additional value adding. It is envisaged that an additional 90 jobs will be created with the new vessel and factory extension. Marco Fishing director, Mr. Peter John Sylvester, said: “As investors in a small but established going concern we are at an exciting juncture and collectively look forward in building and growing the company as a whole, whilst also playing our part in corporate social responsibility. With the continued support of the Minister of Fisheries and his devoted staff, this venture has the potential to become one of the biggest employers in Lüderitz, and the Karas Region.”