Investor to undertake Fish Processing Co-Operative on St Helena Announced

  • PQ Trading STH (Pty) Ltd (PQTSH) endorsed as the investor to undertake fish processing operations on St Helena
  • The PQTSH proposal is to develop a co-operative called the St Helena Fisheries Co-Operative

PQ Trading STH (Pty) Ltd (PQTSH) has been endorsed as the investor to undertake fish processing operations on St Helena through a co-operative approach.

At their meeting on Tuesday, 25 February 2020, Executive Council agreed to the principle of PQTSH’s investment proposal and St Helena Government (SHG) Officers will now work with PQTSH to discuss the preliminary arrangements and necessary details which will lead to the developing and concluding of a Memorandum of Understanding between both parties, and thereafter the issuing of licences for fishing and processing.

The PQTSH proposal is to develop a co-operative called the St Helena Fisheries Co-Operative.

Commercial fishing, marketing and supply chain activities will be undertaken collectively as one Co-Operative. A Co-Operative is a legal entity which is owned and run by members and a member is allocated a proportion of the profits on a yearly basis (dividend). PQTSH is one of the members, and their proposal is that fishermen will join them in the St Helena Fisheries Co-Operative as other members. The management structure of the Co-Operative will include at least three experienced and knowledgeable representative members of the local St Helena fishing and business communities.

The St Helena Fisheries Co-Operative model proposes a safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing industry that makes a significant contribution to the local economy by producing high quality products for sale and export. The model focuses on one-by-one fishing only, promotes growth in the fishing sector and plans to create an operation that could directly benefit and provide opportunities for local commercial fishermen. The model focuses largely on fishing at sea mounts including exploratory fishing at Cardno in order to develop a profitable enterprise which requires no annual government subsidy to operate. Furthermore, the model focusses strongly on the protection of juvenile fish and bait fish species resources around the Island and the various offshore seamounts; and the Co-Operative intends to work with the SHG Marine team to continually improve science on catches and reduce the risk of over exploitation.

PQTSH, including its South African business partners, international buyers and other professionals in the fishing industry have a collective involvement spanning several decades of extensive experience in the industry, from catching fish to factory management, fish processing, logistics, quality control, supply chain, marketing and servicing.

PQTSH’s proposal was one of four received to provide an alternative business model for fish processing and sales on St Helena. All proposals were assessed for environmental, technical and financial robustness and viability by a subcommittee of the Investment Enabling Group. This proposal impressed the subcommittee because of the provision of upfront investment, the collaborative approach with local commercial fishermen, the breadth of experience which was on offer, and the fact there was no requirement for ongoing annual government subsidy to support operations.

This investment will mean that SHG will no longer spend £20,000 per month operating the processing facility, both inshore and offshore. Commercial fishermen who join up to the Co-Operative will be in a position to make profit, the local market will benefit from regular availability fish and that profitable exportation of fish will serve to improve St Helena’s trade balance. The model is focussed on securing economic, social and environmental benefits for the Island as a whole.

Background information is available at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/2020/press-releases/preferred-investor-identified-to-undertake-fish-processing-operations-on-st-helena/

Questions & Answers

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SHG

28 February 2020

St Helena Government Press Office

Telephone: 22470
Email: liam.yon@sainthelena.gov.sh