Sea Harvest Invests R125m in Trawler
This year Sea Harvest celebrated 50 years since its inception and it launched its new vessel on Quay 6 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Fred Robertson, the Chairman of Sea Harvest and majority shareholder Brimstone Investment Corporation was present at the vessel christening ceremony and he christened her saying: “We are gathered here to name the Harvest Atlantic Peace, may she reap a bountiful harvest and may the God keep her and her crew safe on her journeys”.
The Harvest Atlantic Peace was built in Norway in the world renowned Sterkoder AS yard. She is a stern fishing trawler with an on-board factory and is capable of catching and processing 6500-7000 green-weight tons of Cape Hake per year. She will be able to freeze 40 tons of Cape Hake per day with a crew of 60 and will be at sea for between 30 and 40 days.
Sea Harvest CEO, Felix Ratheb, said: “We have made this significant capital investment to increase our Company’s vessel capacity in order to successfully catch and process our quota for the long-term sustainability of our business”.
Sea Harvest depends on government allocated fishing rights to protect the jobs of more than 2400 employees on the West Coast. “As a company, Sea Harvest is totally committed to sustainable fishing and we harvest responsibly for our future generations,” said Ratheb. The fishery has Marine Stewardship Council certification - the gold standard for the responsible management of marine resources - assuring consumers they’re buying from a sustainable fishery.
Established in 1964 in the fishing village of Saldanha Bay, Sea Harvest has grown to be the largest employer in the town. “Our company being the biggest economic driver on the west coast is core to the people of the Saldanha Bay region, and our people are crucial to our business. Sea Harvest is totally committed to improving the lives of the local community through various capital and social investments.” said Fred Robertson.
A study conducted by the University of Cape Town* found Sea Harvest to be the most important contributor to the West Coast economy, indirectly responsible for about 35% of all household income in the Saldanha Bay area and about 5000 direct and indirect jobs. “Sea Harvest pays one of the highest daily wages in the sector despite being regarded as a ‘rural’ operation,” said Robertson. “97% of our employees are regarded as previously disadvantaged, of which 55% are women.”
Sea Harvest is the country’s largest broad-based black owned and managed fishing company, 85% is owned by shareholders Brimstone Investment Corporation and Kagiso Tiso Holdings. Through these primary investors the financial benefits of Sea Harvest have reached more than a million beneficiaries from previously disadvantaged and impoverished communities. “Our on-going commitment to developing and supporting the local community has earned us the reputation of being one of South Africa’s most progressive black-empowered corporate citizens,” Roberston said. “We are very proud of our community and it is imperative that the company’s success also positively impacts our staff, their families and the surrounding community – this is what our business is all about.”
* The University of Cape Town’s Environmental Evaluation Unit study, February 2008.