31 October 2019
On Tuesday, 29 October 2019, Executive Council discussed the option of an alternative business model for processing and selling fish on St Helena, with a view to curtailing the crippling losses incurred by SHG’s state owned entity St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) and reducing the subsidy provided to it by Government.
The alternative business model proposed by the newly established Fisheries Task Group suggests an interim solution lasting between six – eighteen months, which focuses on the local market, fresh and affordable protein, and fresh fish exports by air, particularly:
- Providing the local market with fish, with premium fish being air freighted to the market in South Africa
- Ceasing direct fuel sales to Fishermen whilst retaining an element of fuel subsidy
- Enabling Fishermen to purchase ice
- Orderly winding up of SHFC, and the opening of a new business through a private limited company initially, under a transitional arrangement that allows processing and sales operations for both the local market and air freight to continue without interruption.
Having explored the alternative interim business model, Executive Council directed to the Fisheries Task Group to engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders, so as to strengthen the proposal before bringing it back to Council for endorsement in December.
Executive Council stressed the need to ensure that other parties including the SHFC (staff and members of Board) and the St Helena Commercial Fishermen’s Association were given ample opportunity to contribute.
Executive Council was also keen that SHG, as owner of SHFC, commence planning for an orderly winding up of SHFC, in collaboration with its Board. The Board of SHFC will take responsibility for consultation with staff.
The overall ambition of Executive Council is for a viable fishing industry on St Helena, one that enables the Island to fish for its future. SHG will continue to explore options for funding a purpose built fish factory in the meantime.
Notes to Editors
A Fisheries Task Group was set up to undertake a review of fish processing and sales on St Helena, and to make recommendations for an alternative business model, with a view to curtailing the losses incurred by SHG’s state owned entity, St Helena Fishing Corporation (SHFC) and reducing the subsidy provided to it by Government. The model will, for the interim, focus on the local market with a view to establishing financial stability and thereby create a platform on which to grow St Helena’s fishing industry for the future.
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31 October 2019