Many more fish to fry in future
Severe damage caused by red tide last year affected what appears to be a wellrun and promising business
The latest annual report by unlisted abalone farming venture Abagold might find interest outside its small pool of public shareholders.
Abalone farming, and aquaculture in general, has drawn attention at Jse-listed fishing enterprises this year. African Equity & Empowerment Investments-controlled Premier Fishing & Brands is in the throes of a major expansion of its Gansbaai abalone farm, while Brimstonecontrolled Sea Harvest snagged a major share of Viking Fishing’s diversified aquaculture offering. The JSE’S big fish, Oceana Group, has also signalled its intention to trawl for aquaculture opportunities, and there has been much pondering around the future of Avi-controlled I&J’S sizeable abalone enterprise.
Increased interest in Abagold is probably following the company’s determined attempts to rebuild its production pipeline after a devastating red tide incident at its Hermanus farm in early 2017.
The immediate response to this event was to introduce “adverse water quality” plants, which chair Hennie van der Merwe says significantly reduces the potential impact of another red tide event. But looking at the longer term, Abagold stresses that the lessons from the incident made it clear that further diversification, geographically and in product offering, is critical to sustainable success.
The company now has an updated manifesto. It reads: “Abagold, the integrated and sustainable agribusiness with core competency in and focus on aquaculture and a diversified global footprint, delivering premium-quality products through innovation, branding and partnerships.”
The manifesto appears deliberately openended, leaving plenty of scope for Abagold’s diversification thrust — possibly even to