With a stock of 40
tonnes of bonito and local squids baits and 30 tonnes of ice from its
three ice plants, Ocean Fisheries has said that it has sufficient baits
and ice to supply to local fishermen.
Mr Georges Tirant,
the managing director of Ocean Fisheries which normally supplies 90% of
its ice to fishermen, said the company has not run out of ice and bait
supplies. On the contrary, he explained, as a result of the south east
trade winds, it did have a large quantity of both commodities as it was
not selling as much as before, since demand has reduced considerably.
During the north
west monsoon, Mr Tirant said normally there was a great demand for both
ice and baits, but at the moment fewer fishermen were going out to sea
and they had stopped buying the products in large quantities.
He noted that since
the beginning of the year, not once has Oceana Fisheries run out of
either ice or baits or even refused to sell the items to fishermen for
any reason or another.
Oceana Fisheries ice
plants are about 14 years old and two of them are manufacturing ice
flakes or lighter ice and the other one the more thicker type of ice or
plates. Mr Tirant admitted that because they had been operating for
quite a long time, the ice plants have reduced their volume of
production per day, but this had in no way affected the overall yield
and supply of ice. The ice plate generator produces about 5 tonnes of
ice per day and each of the ice flake generator produces about 8 tonnes
per day. Once full each of
the plant has the capacity to hold some 20 tonnes of ice.
Oceana Fisheries has
plans to improve the volume of production of its ice flake plants by
bringing in a new generator to produce a maximum of 10 tonnes per day.
The generator is expected to arrive in the country in about two months'
time and will last for another 15 years. It will cost Oceana Fisheries
R200,000 to install the new generator.
With regards to
baits, Mr Tirant said with the exception of the imported squid which the
company supplied mainly to the long liners, all other baits were
available for local fishermen. Oceana Fisheries normally gets its
supplies of baits from purse seiners, and the suppliers, Mr Tirant said,
had been consistent throughout the fishing season up till now.
The baits are stored
in a facility which has the capacity to hold about 550 tonnes of frozen
products, but Mr Tirant said the company could not stock a large
quantity of baits because the products might get freezer-burn. In order
to keep its bait fresh, it has to replenish its stock regularly.
Fishermen or members
of the public can buy ice at Oceana Fisheries from Monday to Friday from
8.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m, on Saturday from 8.00 a.m to 12 noon, on Sunday
and public holidays from 8.00 a.m to 10.00 a.m.
pay R13 for a 50 kilo bag of ice whereas members of the public pay R30.