New ice plant gives fisheries a boost in Africa
A London-based company is providing a new ice plant for an indigenous African fishing sector, allowing fishermen to sell their catches in more markets nationwide.
Pontus Marine, with offices in Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia, has created a plant which provides compacted blocks of ice for fishing vessels. When cracked, the blocks provide flake ice, which the fishermen use to keep their catches cooler.
The principal targets for the new technology are pelagic fishermen catching tuna and kingfish. Pontus will also help distribute the catch once landed.
The new plant is the latest step in an ongoing plan to boost Somaliland fisheries, according to MacAlister Elliott & Partners (MEP), a consultant supervising the plan. The next step, according to the company, will be to create a processing facility, which will help the fisheries gain access to overseas markets.
“Rather than doing every aspect of the company development plan in one fell swoop, the investors have adopted a phased approach where we resolve any inevitable teething problems one step at a time before moving to the next phase,” said MEP’s Stephen Akester. “We are delighted that the ice plant is now working well and Pontus will shortly be focusing their efforts in putting the infrastructure in place to develop new export markets for high quality and sustainably caught Somaliland fish.”
According to MEP, Pontus Marine has crowd-funding support of over 1,000 investors looking to improve the economic potential of Somaliland fisheries.