Nantinda leads in uncharted waters

If her seashell necklace is anything to go by, it is clear she carries all things abalone close to her heart - literally and figuratively.

23 February 2021 | Supplements

The general manager (GM) of Hangana Abalone, Aune Nantinda joined the O&L team as production manager at Hangana Seafood last year - a position she held for ten years before she transitioned to GM at Hangana Abalone in Lüderitz, which is a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group.

Known as someone who continuously works to meet the needs of stakeholders, Nantinda has been proving herself as a formidable female force within the company.

During her years in production management, she became well versed in corporate dynamics and team building - aspects that are essential when managing about 900 people.

Since joining Hangana Abalone, Nantinda 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 Hangana Abalone a real pioneer. Fishing can be unpredictable, a reason why my role does not have a fixed description. You have to be driven to navigate whatever comes your way and I am grateful for the opportunity to steer the ship in unchartered territory,” she says.

Sustainability

“Being a part of an advancing company like Hangana Abalone is exciting. Our hatching programme, developed to ensure the sustainable spawning and harvesting of abalone, has been progressing steadily. The viability of the programme depends on populating every life stage of the abalone, as it takes about four years for abalone to reach market size.”

Once sufficient abalone populations are established, Hangana Abalone hopes to reach production volumes of up to 300 metric tons a year.

Nantinda says she dreams of having a fully functioning abalone farm that packs and ships products every day, just like any other factory would.

Farm expansion is already underway and additional employment opportunities are set to follow.

She also sees scope for expansion along the value chain that would benefit both the company and the town of Lüderitz.

Under consideration, is Hangana Abalone manufacturing its own tanks and baskets in Lüderitz. The containers which are used to house the abalone are currently imported from South Africa.

Nantinda also has her eye on establishing a cannery in Lüderitz, 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. We also wish to start cultivating kelp on site for abalone feed and conducting our own research activities. We have been guided by international research, but we need to generate more data on Namibian waters specifically.”

All these activities may create future opportunities for employment in Lüderitz.

Abalone is a luxury product worthy of premium returns and Nantinda says she intends 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. I want locals to take delight in the fruits of our abalone industry and those who contribute to its production should recognise any success of the company as their own.”

She believes the empowerment of a supportive environment is essential for success.

“When combined with determination and passion, this fuels possibilities.”

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