Acuinuga. Acuicultura y Nutrición de Galicia


28-04-14 |

Cataclysmic Pescanova

Pescanova has been a reference in the fishing industry for many years, having the pioneering vision to identify aquaculture as an area for growing within a healthy market environment, after the stagnation of world fisheries. For a long time it enjoyed everything required to become a world leader in the field, including financial muscle, permits and licenses, political and administrative support, processing and value addition capacities, and a prestigious brand. If only on the basis of the huge public and private, regional, national, European and international resources vanishing after Pescanova's cataclysm, we are all losers with the crisis of this great firm.

There are many good professionals working at this company, with extensive experience and a track record of loyalty to the multinational, whose future depends largely on the solutions to be implemented during these months. What was lacking, and is still currently absent, what is more worrying, is a sound strategy for the future, designed over clear technical premises, particularly with regards to its activity in the field of aquaculture. 

This is relevant because Pescanova's demise also affects the overall perception of the profitability of aquaculture operations. Everyone makes mistakes, and project failure is a frequent problem within our area of activity, where technical challenges can only be resolved on the basis of top knowledge, professional excellence and loyal collaboration. Neglection of these requirements in favour of incompetence, cronyism, occultism and arrogance provide for dangerous ingredients in business management, whose consequences we suffer today. Rather than learning and building on their mistakes, Pescanova's leadership, in connivance with its political and financial support, always chose to deny and hide the many failures of their farming plans, such as the cages project in Aldan (NW Spain), the salmon farming operations in Chile or the inland production of turbot in Mira (Portugal).

Probably it has not yet been possible to ascertain full responsibilities in this case -not exactly a national specialty-. Although it is surprising to still hear expressions of unconditional support from some institutional authorities, whose managerial decisions appear very questionable, on the basis of results. What seems rather extraordinary is that even today, with the wide range of interests at stake, clear technical guidelines have not yet been discussed in order to facilitate the prompt recovery of Pescanova's viability. The selection of target species, production systems, farming objectives, the optimisation of operational costs, the solutions for operational limitations, the synergies that may be exploited, all seem basic questions that should have been considered in any business plan. For the general interest, and in particular for the benefit of the industry, let us hope that the course is quickly corrected, and serious work is undertaken on the technical strategies that should become a roadmap for the future development of this great Galician brand.