HAFA drives job creation

This association for artisanal fishermen serves to support marginalized communities.

25 February 2020 | Supplements

Herman /Honeb; Director; “HAFA’s main purpose is to encourage self-employment through the sustainable utilization of fishery and marine resources…”

Henties Bay

The Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA) is one of the few member-based associations that was established by the people, through the facilitation of the ministry of fisheries and marine resources in 2003.

“HAFA is a people’s association and thus governed and managed by a people-centred approach. It is there to ensure fishing members benefit from its existence through a variety of services like individual unlimited catches, but closely monitored for household income and food security,” says the director of the organization, Herman /Honeb.

He says the association adds value to the fishing sector via wealth and job creation.

“HAFA’s main purpose is to encourage self-employment through the sustainable utilization of fisheries and marine resources. This involves primarily catching an unlimited number of line fish, which is a prime product from onshore within a controlled setup,” he explained.

HAFA administration employs 14 staff members, including three in management and 11 who jointly earn a total annual salary of approximately N$1.6 million, inclusive of fringe benefits, such as housing, cellphone, health schemes and pension.

The traditional fishing community in Henties Bay is estimated at 500 persons. With interest growing in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, HAFA membership is increasing by the day. Task forces were established to get anglers organized in such towns. The association registers between 80 and 140 members every year.

Institutions such as the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust and municipalities have been identified to serve as agents for supporting the process in towns where HAFA does not have offices.

Full-time and associate membership is available with slightly different benefits and obligations. Members receive benefits such as fishing gear, bait at affordable prices and on credit, health benefits and funeral cover.

HAFA’s self-employed fishermen and women consist of 30 full-time members and 40 associate members. The top fishers earn an average monthly income of N$20 000 and the lowest earns below N$4 000 per month through their catches.

HAFA pays out an average of 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 transportation support including provision of fresh-fish equipment and facilities.

Under a partnership with Benquella Ski-boat Association (and Namaqua), HAFA employs 12 crew members including a skipper (and HAFA trainee skipper) to catch fish and also work as processors on a ski-boat and a vessel.


In a 50/50% partnership, HAFA bought a vessel in South Africa, called Daan Viljoen and renamed it Hanganeni. An estimated 20 full-time crew members will be recruited for this venture with a capacity building element.

“Very little was done to empower the poor people along coastal towns in the past. Only some benefitted from the fishery resources by registering big companies and participating in the rights applications due to their capacities,” /Honeb said.

HAFA also plays a role in curbing illegal fishing and trading by organising impoverished communities in the coastal towns to formally govern, manage and benefit from the national resources.

“Poaching is a reality. A lot of illegal fishing and trading takes place. The partnership between the ministry of fisheries and marine resources and HAFA enables us to aggressively and jointly combat this phenomena. We have to protect our resources and sustainably utilise it for the benefit of the generations to come,” /Honeb said.

HAFA also enjoys a strong working relationship with fishery inspectors. “Six of HAFA’s members were selected to become honourary inspectors and went through the screening process successfully. They are awaiting final recruitment and induction before they can formally and actively engage in the protection of the fishery and marine resources,” /Honeb said.

HAFA follows legislation in terms of adding value to its catches.

“The ministry of fisheries and marine resources promotes value addition, hence HAFA has established the Fish Shop and Take Away in Henties Bay. HAFA also established a processing facility to add value. The facility was upgraded by adding a cool room and renovating the facility. The cleaning, filleting and packaging of fish products happens within the confines of the facility.”

With the demand growing rapidly, the processing facility will be equipped with the latest machinery, tools and technologies to add value to fishery products.

As per its motto, ‘Fresh Fish From the Ocean’, the Fish Shop and Take Away supply fresh fish products to the market, especially kabeljou, galjoen, Steenbras and kolstert.

Fish products are provided in different forms such as whole, filleted, (packed in 1kg, 5kg, and 10kgs) and according to the requirement of clients.

The Take Away caters for the needs of the customers and provides cooked, fried, baked, curry fish, smoked and sometimes on order.

/Honeb confirmed that a plan to construct a bigger Fresh Fish Restaurant owned by HAFA is underway. “We want Namibians and tourists to come and enjoy the taste of fresh caught galjoen or kob.”

HAFA operates under the custodianship of the ministry of fisheries and marine resources, and as such abides to all Fisheries and Marine Resources Act, policies and regulations.

“In line with such provisions, HAFA developed operational guidelines, a code of conduct and control systems. As a new and small setup, implementation of such provisions for compliance remains a challenge, however HAFA has no significant problems in such regard,” /Honeb said.

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