Our clients say that "the quality of San Arawa's frozen hoki fishblock is superior" to that of our competitors. And there is an explanation for that.
Hoki is a species which is mostly found in New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. Compared to other species of "white fishes", it has several disadvantages from a fishing point of view:
- It is extremely hard to capture consistently, given that as soon as the ship approaches, the school of fish swims away very fast, changing not only direction, but also water depth.
- Once captured, it is extremely fragile: as soon as it is caught and received on board, it begins to deteriorate quickly; the flesh becomes very soft and it is very hard to fillet with machines.
- Since the fish is so soft, if there is a large concentration of fish, the fish bag is full and the tow lasts longer than three hours, then the pressure of the cod end of the net turns the white flesh pink, a color undesirable for customers who are only looking for white color.
Up until 1992, Chile used hoki for fishmeal. Argentine fishers tried to avoid catching this species, since the filleting factories on shore did not want it, as there was no market for such soft meat. New Zealand made mostly HG fish on board, and sold it that way.
During 1992, three very modern filleter trawlers built in Norway were leased by New Zealand fishing companies, with the purpose of developing a catching and processing system which would enable them to produce hoki fillet and fishblock on board.
Sanford Ltd. of New Zealand, the holder of one of the largest hoki quotas in New Zealand, bought in 1992 the vessel "San Arawa" , built in Norway in 1986, and designed a brand new factory on board in order to try to produce high quality hoki fillet and fishblock.
During 1994, the current president of San Arawa S.A. proposed Sanford Ltd. a joint venture in Argentina in order to operate with the filleter trawler "San Arawa", using all the know-how developed in New Zealand. Sanford is a well-established, conservative fishing company, but it accepted the challenge to come to Argentina, and in May 2002, the vessel "San Arawa" changed her flag and her name to "San Arawa II" and started working in Argentina, using the enormous experience obtained in New Zealand.