In a bid to attain food sufficiency and boost fish and shrimps production in Nigeria; Atlantic Shrimpers Limited (ASL) has unveiled two newly acquired trawlers-Seven Stars 1 and 2 as part of its fleet expansion and increase investment in the country’s seafood subsector.
The investment in the newly acquired trawlers is the largest made in the West African fishing industry in the last 28 years. The investment also reflects ASL confidence and commitment to the Nigerian fishing industry, which is internationally recognised as one of the best managed and sustainable fishing industry in the world.
“We are adding to a new series of more efficient to our fleets. Our goal is to align with Nigeria’s transformation agenda through agriculture to ensure food security and generate export proceed while generating employment,” Kamlesh Kabra, managing director, ASL said during unveiling of the vessels in Apapa port recently
“We believe in Nigeria and we would continue to invest in its fishing sector,” Kabra said.
According to him, the addition of the two ultramodern trawlers is a proof of the company’s continued dedication to invest more in Nigeria fish industry.
ASL which have been active in the Nigeria’s shrimp trawling business since the 90s, started with just 15 trawlers has grown its number of trawlers in its fleets to 72 and also invested in its own Dry Dock to facilitate in-house maintenance of fleets.
The company has also developed a value added processing factory, in-house lab, workshops and modern cold storage facilities.
In his keynote address, Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development congratulated ASL on the remarkable feat and investment in Nigeria.
The minister stated that the investment in the new vessels will not only support existing jobs but replace old vessels and processing technology that will usher new opportunities.
“It is a privilege to commission these magnificent new trawlers that ASL has acquired. ASL has consistently displayed an unwavering commitment to delivering the absolute best to the Nigerian market and beyond, while being environmentally responsible in the process,” Lokpobiri said.
“Our ultimate goal is to attain self-sufficiency in fish production and the ministry is striving to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and fill the missing gap as the ministry has placed fisheries and aquaculture top among its value chains development programme,” he added.
Stewart Harper, chairman board of directors, ASL said that the two new vessels has a 40 ton capacity each for shrimps and fish, adding that the country is leading in the designs of the newly acquired trawlers.
Harper commended the Nigerian government for its continued support to the organisation in boosting the country’s shrimps and fish production.
Also speaking also during the unveiling, Olusegun Awolowo, chief executive officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council stated that the commissioning falls in line with the country’s national plan for a zero oil economy.
“I believe this will go a long way generating more revenue for the company and also the country while creating more jobs for our population,” Awolowo said.