New Fish Factory
- It is not true that there's no power. As I understand it, there is
power, but it's a temporary system that would be insufficient for the
Lifeline for island lobster fishermen
June 07 2008 at 04:02PM
By Clayton Barnes
Cape Town-based manufacturing company Anchor Steel is building a
state-of-the-art fishing factory for Tristan da Cunha after the old
lobster factory was destroyed in a fire four months ago.
The new factory, set to open at the start of the 2009 fishing season,
was designed and manufactured in Cape Town and will be shipped to the
south Atlantic Ocean island as soon as the island crane, which broke a
few weeks after the fire, is repaired.
Factory owner Andrew James, from Ovenstone Agencies, said their first
priority was to get the crane fixed so that the equipment and building
material can get onto the island.
He said he was working with the local authorities to either rebuild or
repair the crane.
"After the crane is operational, our second aim will be to get the
power plant up and running again."
James said everything was destroyed in the February 13 fire, which was
allegedly caused by an electrical fault.
"There is no power on Tristan at the moment, so that is our number one
priority once the crane is repaired," he said. "Then we will look at
ways of getting the equipment and building material onto the island."
James said the factory's closure was a great loss to the more than 100
islanders who worked there.
"The factory was an integral part of their lives and their only source
of income," he said.
"For this year's fishing season, which starts in July, the islanders
will work on a boat we call our 'floating fish factory', from where
they will catch Tristan lobster."
The factory's operations manager, Dorrien Venn, said the factory would
be built to European Union standards to access all fishing markets.
Anchor Steel CEO John Lumby said the structures were ready and waiting
to be transported to the island.
The new factory will be uniquely designed, as builders took the
island's environmental conditions into account. It is able to
withstand wind speeds of 100 knots and seismic activities up to 7.5 on
the Richter scale.
"Anchor Steel has designed a very sturdy, fit-for-the-purpose building
that will serve the island and lobster operation for many years to
come - well beyond Ovenstone's current horizon of 2016. We look
forward to using the building for some time to come," said James.
Tristan's fishing industry has been the mainstay of a largely
self-supporting economy since 1949 when the first canning factory was
It was totally destroyed during a 1961 volcanic eruption, engulfed by
lava which, as well as destroying the buildings also ignited more than
110 000 litres of diesel fuel.
The factory was operated by Ovenstone and provided the hub of the
local fishing industry.
o This article was originally published on page 9 of The
Star on June 07, 2008. © 2008 Independent Online. All rights strictly