Zakia Fishing Company (“Zakia”) began operations three years ago with a fleet of ten small motorized boats and a larger ice-laden ‘mother’ boat in the Maydh-Berbera corridor along the Somaliland coast. The three owners saw an opportunity to enter the industry as there is little commercial fishing along the 800km rich waters of Somaliland. Somaliland’s fishing industry has low barriers to entry as there is little domestic competition, and an abundance of fish to catch. Domestic demand for fish has also steadily been growing and there is great potential to sell to international markets such as Ethiopia and Yemen. To meet this opportunity, Zakia’s owners set out to grow their fishing fleet, minimize post-harvest losses, and add value through the processing of fish.
After securing investment facilitated by Shuraako, Zakia has grown its fleet of small motorized boats by 50% and expanded its product offerings to include dried fish, frozen fish filets, and frozen packaged fish. Throughout its expansion, Zakia has positioned itself as a unique fishing company in Somaliland because of its large-scale ability to chill its catch at sea and on land through the procurement of an ice-making machine and generator. It bought a refrigerated truck and can now transport chilled fish to local markets. Zakia trains its employees on new fishing techniques and fishing gear. In the future, Zakia hopes to grow its operations to other towns and villages along the coast of Somaliland and create more jobs for Somalis.