Hangana revives abalone farm
17 September 2018 | Business
Esau hailed the revival of the abalone farm at a cost of approximately N$40 million (including N$ 13 million paid for the old farm) by the Ohlthaver & List Group, through its subsidiary company Hangana Seafood, as a remarkable investment in Namibia’s mariculture subsector.
“This investment will expand abalone production capacity from the current 35 metric tons (MT) annually to 300 MT in the next 4 years. The farm will also employ approximately 300 Namibians when it becomes fully operational.”
Esau said the investment demonstrates there are lucrative investment opportunities other than fishing rights and quotas in Namibia’s coast.
“Abalone production in Lüderitz and all along the coast of Namibia is sustainable as it only needs kelp to feed it. We must continue to encourage aquaculture, including cage culture, ranching, on-shore and inland aquaculture because this is the future of our fisheries. Government is keen to ease pressure on our marine fish stocks by encouraging mariculture and inland aquaculture as a means to increasing our total fisheries and marine resources production.”
Esau also pointed out that abalone farming is ecologically and economically viable in Namibia and a lucrative product with the market demand far exceeding global supply.
“With prices exceeding N$500 per abalone, poaching of this marine species is a global problem with governments closely cooperating on combating it,” said Esau.
“Abalone is a very popular protein across the globe. The Hangana Abalone Farm will mean an expansion of Namibia’s footprint on the global front in terms of fish supply, and it could set us apart as a leader, internationally, as abalone is a much loved delicacy, especially in fine-dining,” said Hangana Seafood MD Herman Theron.
“We could not sit back and watch this goldmine of potential for Namibia go to waste. We saw the need for this treasure to be revived and rejuvenated, and we grabbed the opportunity. A further N$20 million will be invested over the next 12 to 16 months.”
Abalone is a type of large snail which is slow-growing and takes eight to nine years to reach the minimum legal size (114 mm shell breadth). In South Africa the name abalone refers to Haliotis midae “perlemoen”. This name comes from the Dutch term Paarlemoer, meaning “mother of pearl”.
The main export market for Hangana abalone is Asia where it has long been appreciated for its health benefits. Farmed abalone is low in fat and a good source of omega 3, iodine and phosphorous (phosphate).