GIS - July 30, 2012: Some Rs 8 to 10 billion worth of investment is about to be made by French group Sapmer in the fisheries sector of Mauritius. This was announced during a press conference held in Port Louis on Friday 27 July 2012 in the presence of representatives of the Board of Investment (BOI) and Sapmer, where the Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Nicolas Von Mally praised the huge amount of money and direct investment of the group, which will allow a re-boosting of the Mauritian seafood hub and global economy.
Hence, in order to further the development of its tuna activities in the Indian Ocean, new purse seiners will be bought and a new processing plant will be built, which will provide direct job opportunities to some 500 persons.
Sapmer will in effect acquire a fleet of 5 high performing purse seiners with -40◦C freezing capacity and will operate from Mauritius. A total of 5 vessels, including 2 of 90m and 3 of 80m length, will be purchased from 2012 to 2014. Each vessel will cost around Rs 1 billion and their construction is undertaken in Vietnam.
In addition, Sapmer will invest in a few fish processing plant valued at Rs 3 billion, in the port area. Thus, product development will focus essentially on the highly-sought ‘sashimi’ grated products for the international markets, especially Japan where raw fish is preferred.
Such development will ensure an average of 6,000 tonnes of fish per year per vessel and these ships will bring about 30,000 tonnes of frozen fish to Port Louis for storage and processing. The purse seiners that will operate from the Port Louis harbor will bear the Mauritian flag and will be registered in Mauritius.
At present, Sapmer owns a fleet of 4 purse seiners for tuna fishery, with one additional vessel to be acquired in September 2012. The products are supplied as raw fish for the canning industries and the Japanese market mainly. They are also processed as loins, steaks, cubes, amongst others to the European Union (EU), Asia, to the United States and to South Africa.
Sapmer has been exploiting the tuna fishery, more specifically the yellow fin and skipjack with onboard freezing at -40◦C, in the Indian Ocean since 2009. It has a 50% joint venture with Mauritian company Seafood Hub Ltd, which is a member of the IBL Group. The processing plant, Mer des Mascareignes, has a processing capacity of 9,000 tonnes per year. Sapmer also has a storage capacity of 3,600 tonnes at -40◦C jointly with the Mauritius Freeport Development Ltd and Froid des Mascareignes Ltd.
Sapmer is a French fishing company involved in deep-sea fishing in the economic zone of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories operating from Reunion Island. The company is involved in lobster, toothfish and tuna fisheries and processing. It is also engaged in responsible and sustainable fishing.