There are lucrative investment opportunities along the Namibian coastline other than fishing quotas, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau said on Friday.
Esau made the comment during the unveiling of a N.dollars 40 million-worth abalone farm just outside Lüderitz, belonging to the Ohlthaver & List Group (O&L) through their subsidiary company Hangana Seafood Ltd.
Abalone is a seafood delicacy that sells for high prices especially in Asia.
Esau said the investment is a demonstration that there are other investment opportunities that will ease pressure on marine fish stocks. Government is keen to encourage maricultural and inland aquaculture as a means to increase total fisheries and marine resources production.
He noted that abalone farming is ecologically and economically viable in Namibia and is a lucrative product whose market demand far exceeds global supply.
“O&L and Hangana Seafood Ltd is demonstrating government’s call through investing in fisheries, creating jobs and developing the country,” he said.
Esau noted that one abalone can cost N.dollars 500, therefore poaching of this marine species in the wild is a global problem that all governments are closely cooperating on.
O&L Chief Executive Officer, Sven Thieme said building innovative systems such as the farm is imperative to growing the Namibian economy through creating jobs and addressing poverty.
He emphasised that Namibia has enough resources that Namibians can utilise fully through foreign investment.
“Let us not only put our hopes on fishing, mining and tourism, but develop industries such as aquaculture,” he said.
The farm was bought in 2016 and the production currently stands at 35 megatonnes as it takes three years to harvest ready-to-eat abalone, Thieme said.
At the moment, the farm has 45 employees but expects to employ 300 with the planned expansion in the next four years.
The group identified Hong Kong as exportation destination of which the first will be in six months.