Nantinda champions in male dominated fishing industry
Aune Nantinda, General Manager at Hangana Abalone has been proving herself as a formidable female force within the company. Recently she was one of the representatives who inked a bargaining agreement between Hangana Abalone and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFUA) in June.
Nantinda started as Production Manager at Hangana Seafood, a position she held for ten years before she transitioned to General Manager at Hangana Abalone in Luderitz last year.
“I am not one for stagnation so being a part of an advancing company like Hangana Abalone is exciting and since fish can be unpredictable, a reason why a role like mine does not have a fixed job description,” she emphasised.
Since joining Hangana Abalone, she has been breaking new ground with her efforts to establish the company as the leader in abalone.
“Our farm is the only land based abalone farm in Namibia to date, making us real pioneers, therefore I am driven to navigate whatever comes my way and I am grateful for the opportunity to steer the ship in unknown waters,” she added.
Nantinda said once sufficient abalone populations are established, they hope to reach production volumes of up to 300 metric tones per year.
“I dream of having a fully functioning abalone farm that packs and ships products every day, just like any other factory would and farm expansion is already under way and additional employment opportunities are set to follow,” she added.
She also sees potential scope for expansion along the value chain that would benefit both the company and the town of Luderitz, as the Hangana Abalone manufacturing is under consideration, which will manufacture its own tanks and baskets in the town. She also has sights on establishing a cannery in Ludertitz, which would be a first for the town.
“The operation need not be limited to the canning of abalone as there would be potential for economies of scale, that why, we also wish to start cultivating kelp on site for abalone feed and conducting our own research activities.” she said.
Abalone is a luxury product worthy of premium returns, this is the reason Nantinda want to take full advantage of this niche market, both overseas and locally. “Export markets, particularly those in Asia, are currently being explored, but it would also be gratifying to see abalone served in local restaurants across the country, because, I also want locals to delight in the fruits of our abalone industry,” she highlighted.
“It is important that my team always feel empowered and have a supportive environment, that when combined with determination and passion, fuels possibilities, therefore no one should underestimate themselves and I especially encourage other women as well as youngsters starting out in their careers to have the courage to try new things,” she concluded.