SOMALILAND - Local fisheries in Somaliland are set to benefit from a new ice plant. The ice plant will help keep landed fish fresh and in premium condition, helping to enable the development of new markets.
In a project managed by fishery consultant MacAlister Elliott & Partners Ltd (MEP), the new containerised plant will be able to produce up to 10 tonnes of high quality ice per day.
The ice plant will be operated by fishery company Pontus Marine which has the funding support of over 1,000 investors looking to improve the economic fisheries potential of Somaliland.
Benefiting fishing boats in the ports of Berbera and Maydh, the plant consists of four flake ice machines and one compactor that converts the flakes into blocks. These blocks can easily be stored by a fishing vessel and are able to keep their integrity in the fish hold. Once the catch is taken aboard, the blocks are smashed to create flake ice, which is efficient at quickly cooling the fish down to a low temperature.
The ice plant was manufactured by Spanish company Tucal with MEP providing advice on the design specifications. MEP also provided strategic consultancy for the overall project by using its fisheries expertise to ensure that the optimum benefits are delivered for its final use in Somaliland.
The ice will be used in the first instance by 15 to 18m vessels targeting pelagic fish such as tuna and kingfish. The aim is to create successful home and export markets for high quality Somaliland fish.
Stephen Akester of MEP said: “I am not aware of any other ice plant that works in this way where blocks can be cracked to create good quality flake ice with a reasonable shelf life. It is ideal for the hot conditions found in Somaliland - the block ice is compact and can be easily stored by a fishing vessel, and once it is cracked, the flake ice gets quickly down to work by cooling the catch.”
Mohammed Yusef CEO of Pontus Marine said: “This ice plant will play a vital role in the development of our indigenous fisheries sector, which will benefit Somaliland and also secure the supply of a nutritious and sustainable food resource.”
TheFishSite News Desk