The Cap Blanc Pélagique (CBP) factory established in Mauritania by Cornelis Vrolijk receives landings from its own fishing vessel. Image: Cornelis Vrolijk

The Cap Blanc Pélagique (CBP) factory processes small pelagics, mainly sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel. Image: Cornelis Vrolijk

Last year the Cap Blanc Pélagique SARL has started to operate its fish processing plant and coldstore in the port of Nouadhibou, in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. This is a joint venture between Cornelis Vrolijk Holding BV and Société Mauritanienne d’Armement Pélagique SARL (SMAP), which has been CV’s local agent for over 20 years.

The Cap Blanc Pélagique (CBP) factory is processing small pelagics for human consumption for the African market, delivering prime quality deep-frozen pelagic fish and securing protein-rich food for the African region.

‘We are one of the first major fish processing plants in Nouadhibou. At full production, we provide about 500,000 healthy and affordable meals for African people per day. Not only do we feed Africa, we also invest in local employment for the coastal community of Nouadhibou,’ said CPB’s managing director Frido Werleman.

‘We employ around a hundred people locally and local workers have contributed to the construction of the plant. We expect to employ even more workers, office staff and fishing crew over time. The Dutch team brings along a lot of experience in fishing, processing, freezing and cold storage of small pelagics. We are proud to sustainably invest in the local community of Nouadhibou.’

CBP operates its own RSW-equipped trawler that delivers catches directly to the plant. The target species are mainly sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel. The crew of the vessel is Mauritanian, trained by Dutch fishermen. The vessel contributes to sustainable fisheries management and scientific research by data collection at sea, self-sampling and cooperation with scientists.

‘The Vrolijk company has been extremely co-operative in providing information on their catches and taking scientific observers on board their vessels during the past 20 years,’ commented Ad Corten, co-ordinator of the scientific cooperation between Mauritania and the Netherlands.

Alternative to fishmeal

The new factory provides a welcome alternative to the massive investments in fishmeal made by foreign investors in Mauritania during recent years. These factories turn pelagic fish into fishmeal and fish-oil that is exported to China, and thus an important source of protein is lost to the West African consumers.

‘The policy of the Mauritanian government is to use more of the pelagic fish for human consumption, and that is precisely what the new factory has been designed for,’ said Arnout Langerak, CV’s director of pelagic fishing.

With its fishing activities Cornelis Vrolijk provides an important contribution to the food security of millions of people.

‘As a family business, we fish with a focus on future generations while maintaining healthy fish stocks, minimising environmental impact and with committed and proud people,’ Arnout Langerak added.

‘We started fishing in Mauritania mid-nineties at the invitation of the Mauritanian government, later under the EU- Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA). This partnership has now been taken to another level,’ he said.

Source: Cornelis Vrolijk