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Business Plan Samples | 24 October, 2022

Commercial Fishing Business Plan Sample

The commercial fishing industry is growing, especially off the coasts of emerging economies. Whether you are starting a fishing company in America, off the coast of Africa, or anywhere else in the world, this sample will help guide you.  Our business plan writers have crafted this sample.


Executive Summary

“Nearfish Inc.” (herein also referred to as “Nearfish”, “Nearfish Company”, and “the company”) was incorporated on February 2, 2022 in the State of Florida by Co-founders: Mich Teresen, and Tom Parkinson. The company is a leader in sustainability across two key sectors, recycling and seafood, and developing solutions to challenges in both areas. Nearfish is inspiring Somalis to achieve goals in recycling, waste reduction, and reuse for the betterment of the nation. Additionally, the company is dedicated to innovation, creativity, and advancements in science and technology. As such, the initial focus will be producing high quality seafood across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia using sustainable fisheries.

Somalia is the easternmost country on the Horn of Africa. Extending just south of the Equator northward to the Gulf of Aden, the country occupies an important geopolitical position between sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of Arabia and southwestern Asia. The capital, Mogadishu, is located just north of the Equator on the Indian Ocean. Landscapes of thornbush savanna and semidesert dominate the scenery as the land of Somalia is a country with geographic extremes.

Somalis have, as a result, developed equally demanding economic survival strategies. With this backdrop, climate plays a key role for Somalia’s economy and livelihoods. Climate change has impacted the land as droughts and floods pose the most severe hazards to the country. Furthermore, global warming and shrinking fish stocks have led to illegal fishing off the Somali coast. This has enabled conflicts between pirates and foreign fishing vessels.

Nearfish is a Somali-founded venture which is seeking to rectify these disastrous changes to the climate, and spearhead a campaign for Somalia to become a thriving and prosperous nation. The company is developing programs, as well as innovations in recycling and seafood production to bolster the environmental sustainability of the region. Somalia has a rich history, captivating geography, and a people who have endured; survived; and preserved in spite of challenges. Nearfish is building a nation of proud Somalis who can call their country home. The company is committed to climate action and developing the necessary solutions to tackle the most challenging problems ahead in this domain.

The company is first tackling this challenge with a sustainable approach to fishing production. This industry has been ravaged by piracy, noncompliant international vessels, overfishing, climate change, and other challenges. Nonetheless, the company is creating a supply chain process which involves sourcing from local sustainable fisheries while managing a fleet of boats and crew. The goal is to supply Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia with high quality fish which is ethically sourced. As a result, the company is creating a series of plans across marketing, HR, strategy, and other areas to execute on this vision.


Financial Outlook


Business Overview

Nearfish Company was founded by: Mich Teresen, and Tom Parkinson. The team have worked both inside and outside the country and their goal is to bring what they have learned home. Nearfish focuses on two important areas which the company considers to be priorities and can be addressed.


The Seafood Sector

The seafood sector in general is self-contained in which the company desires to strengthen the production, and to help small business owners used in the production of fish. As part of the climate inaction, there has been a significant negative impact on the seafood industry. Moreover, this has impacted production, yields, and quality of fish. Nearfish will focus on improving the quality of seafood production to provide jobs and feed more people with quality food.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide quality sustainably produced seafood and waste management services, as well as promoting recycling activities to ensure a safe and healthy community.


Vision Statement

Our vision is to inspire and challenge Somalis to achieve the highest quality seafood production, waste reduction, recycling, and reuse goals in the nation.


Core Values

The following core values guide the Nearfish team and larger company culture.

Integrity is at the center of all decision-making.

  • We conduct our business activities in a transparent manner which includes engaging stakeholders and the public when developing or optimizing new or established policies and regulations.
  • We embrace the highest degree of administrative and fiscal responsibility.
  • We act in an ethical, honest, and professional manner at all times.
  • We lead by example.
  • We continually set realistic yet rigorous goals and achieve them.
  • We value proactive communication and stay accountable to each other as well as our stakeholders.
  • We continually stay compliant with current statutory and regulatory requirements.

Leadership is embedded into the business and all people.

  • We are industry leaders in developing and implementing new strategies to protect our natural resources.
  • We make insightful recommendations that promote positive change in our business and community.
  • We value innovative policies and practices that promote sustainable communities.
  • We use cutting-edge web-based technology to achieve maximum outreach in an efficient manner.
  • We continually explore new techniques to address waste and material streams.
  • We research and make public model programs and approaches for diversion and environmental stewardship.
  • We adapt to meet new challenges.

Service to others and the world above all else.

  • We excel at providing high levels of customer service to our internal and external customers.
  • We continually evaluate the quality of our programs and services to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness.
  • We cultivate and nurture a work environment that values diversity, open communication, and idea sharing.
  • We encourage, appreciate, and reward excellence.
  • We value our staff for their institutional knowledge, celebrate their success, and provide opportunities for them to enhance their skills, knowledge, and abilities.



There are several key dates and milestones associated with the Nearfish company as described below:

  • In 1977 the Somali Government established the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
  • The Somali central government collapsed in 1991, and the increase in foreign fishing became a justification for piracy against fishing vessels.
  • Foreign fishing vessels caught approximately 92,500 megatons of fish in 2014, almost twice that caught by the Somali domestic fleet of fishermen.
  • The Somali Fisheries Law was passed in December 2014 banning bottom trawling by domestic and foreign vessels, it also made all prior licenses null and void, and reserved the first 24 nautical miles of Somali waters for Somali fishers.
  • The Growth, Enterprise, Employment, and Livelihoods (GEEL) project was established by USAID supporting more than 50 Somali fishing companies to stabilize catch rates, improve economic return, and streamline internationally-accepted processing.


Goals and Objectives


Market Analysis

Global Fish and Seafood Industry

As the world continues to grow in population, it is expected to reach around 10 billion by 2050. With this consistent increase in population, food security has been recognized as one of the many challenges that needs to be addressed by all nations.

Based on the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) report on The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, the total fisheries and aquaculture production in 2018 reached 179 million tonnes. This number makes fish and seafood the most traded food commodity in the world. Around 87% of this total was identified for direct human consumption. This percentage increased significantly by 20% from 67% in the 1960’s. The annual growth rate of fish consumption exceeded the combined total of meat and terrestrial animals consumption.

The graph above shows the volume of fish production from 2002 to 2021. In 2020, the world produced 174.6 million metric tonnes of fish which is approximately 18% higher than it produced in 2010 (148.1 metric tonnes). This only proves that fish is one of the most consumed foods and is becoming further in demand in all areas of the world.

It is expected that the seafood industry will expand in succeeding years. The market was valued at $125.2 billion in 2017 and is projected to increase to $155.32 billion by 2023. In 2018, the top three (3) producers are China, Indonesia and Peru. In China alone, where the largest fish and seafood processing industry is situated, the industry generated $31.6 billion of revenue.

In another report, the global fresh fish market size was valued at $228.3 billion in 2021. This is calculated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) OF 2.6% from 2022 TO 2028. The significant growth rate was also reported as one driven by the population’s heightened awareness on the health benefits of fish products. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also reported that the fish product consumption far outweighs the growth of the population.


Fish and Seafood Industry in Africa

The international fishing trade industry in Africa has made significant progress in the past years. However, it has yet to evolve to achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth for the region. There is a need to boost Africa’s intra-regional trade by improving their capacity to produce fish products in order to compete with the world market.

Records show that Africa contributed around 90 million tonnes per year in the last decade. Although this figure remained stable, there was a regional increase of 6.8 times from 1,109,387 tonnes in 1950 to 7,597,427 tonnes in 2010. The fish and aquaculture catch in 2010 is 9% of the global supply valued at 158 million tonnes or around $217.5 billion.

In the export sector, 10 African exporters lead the 89.5% fish and fishery products exports from the region. The top 5 are Morocco (leading with 29%), Namibia (15.8%), South Africa (12.3%), Mauritius (7%) and Senegal (6.3%). Morocco contributed 1.1% to the global trade.

Europe is the top market of African fish products exporters at 70% of the total exports. Tagging far behind is Asia at 15% and neighboring African nations at 11%.


Fish and Seafood Industry in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya

The total fisheries production (in metric tonnes) in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya from 2010 to 2020 is shown in the graph below. Out of the three countries, Somalia has produced the lowest number of fish products. In fact, it has steadily produced 30,000 metric tonnes in a decade. Kenya on the other hand started strong in 2010 until 2011. However, its fisheries market production in 2012 experienced a slump and it has not regained its strength until 2020. In this period, its highest production was in 2011 where they produced 207,925 metric tonnes of fish products. They ended with 150,060 metric tonnes of fish production in 2020. Amongst the three countries, Ethiopia has a more steady rise in their fish production. After the year 2010, their production had a minimal dip in 2015 but Ethiopia regained its strength and recorded an increase in production until 2020 where it produced 60,536 metric tonnes.


Fish Market Profiles of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya

FOA has released Fish Market Profiles for different countries in March 2022 conducted by GLOBEFISH. Globefish collected from 2001-2019 market and trade information on fish and fish products in various countries. These data may be useful to determine the feasibility of importing and exporting fish products to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. For Somalia, below is their Fish Market Profile.

In summary, the Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya Fish Market Profiles proves that there is a great deal of potential for profitability in both export and import of fish products.


Recycling Facilities Industry Market

Recycling is the process of collecting, processing, and remanufacturing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash. The global waste recycling services market size is to be valued at $81.3 billion by 2028 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% during the forecast period. The increased awareness of the benefits of garbage recycling is expected to result in a positive impact to the recycling industry over the forecast period.

Globally, the Recycling Facility Industry is expected to rise at a considerable rate from this year onwards. It was valued at $55.1 billion in 2020, and was estimated at $57.69 billion in 2021. By 2028, it is estimated to reach almost $90 billion, recording a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% between 2021 to 2030.


Awareness and Support

Recycling businesses gain the support of both government and non-government organizations which lead in campaigning in favor of recycling materials to generate raw materials in many industries. Many industries are beginning to appreciate the value and the benefits of using recycled materials. It does not only save cost and energy for everyone, but it helps the Earth heal and become more sustainable for living. Due to the support and the growing awareness of its benefits, the recycling industry is expanding and becoming more profitable and viable.


Recycling Industry Market in the U.S.

In the U.S. alone, the market size of the Recycling Facilities industry, measured by revenue, is $9.4bn in 2022.  It is composed of 1,051 Recycling Facilities businesses and has increased by 0.9% from 2021. This industry also employs approximately 24,998 employees.  The annual market growth of the Recycling Facilities Industry from 2012 to 2022 is shown below:

With the above trend shown in the graph, the Recycling Industry in the U.S. is projected to increase at 6.8% per year on average between 2017 and 2022. Compared to the overall economy, this industry has accelerated at a faster rate over the years. In terms of market size, this industry is the 22nd ranked Administration, Business Support and Waste Management Services industry and the 544th largest in the U.S.

The business has grown by 0.9% from 2021 to 2022 due to the rise of waste materials during the pandemic and after. The table below shows a 3% CAGR in the U.S.

It is also worth knowing that the recycling rate throughout Minnesota reveals that it is one of the better U.S. states in terms of waste management. According to the most recent study, Minnesota’s statewide recycling rate is at 43.6% in 2020, which is an increase of 1.5% from 2019.

The U.S. is one of the largest producers of solid waste worldwide. Despite this industry growth in the U.S., the recycling industry is still considered low when compared to European countries. In fact, Germany is 65% higher. In a report done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the total waste materials and products generated in 2018 was approximately 292.4 million tonnes. The breakdown shows that organic materials continued to be the highest contributor of waste in the U.S.

The above figure shows that paper and paperboard materials are the most recycled waste in the U.S.. It is approximately 66% of the 69 million metric tonnes of recycled Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) accounted for in 2018. Focusing on recyclable waste, following closely is plastic materials such as PET and HDPE bottles at 12.2%. However, according to the report this accounts for only 10% of the total U.S. plastic waste.

This means that 90% of U.S. plastic waste is not recycled and has actually been thrown into landfills or incinerated creating more pollution in the environment. The impact of this has already caught global attention resulting in increased support for the development of better recycling systems.

Raising awareness is the key for understanding the value of recycling in the U.S. To do this, the government declared November 15 as “America Recycles Day” where many Americans participate and raise awareness in the country.


Government Regulations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates laws and programs on fish and fishery products under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act and the Public Health Service Act. This Agency is responsible for research, inspection, compliance, enforcement, outreach, and the development of regulations and guidance.

In 1996, the FDA adopted its final regulations to ensure the safe and sanitary processing of fish and fishery products, including imported seafood. The regulations mandated the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles to the processing of seafood. HACCP is a preventive system of hazard control that can be used by processors to ensure the safety of their products to consumers.

The FDA is the one who publishes the Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards and Controls Guidance. This is an extensive compilation of the most up-to-date science and policy on the hazards that affect fish and fishery products and effective controls to prevent their occurrence.

The most recent guidelines released by the FDA was the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance, June 2022 edition. It is intended to assist those in the industry to develop their own HACCP plans. The guidelines will help the business owners to:

  • Identify hazards associated with their products,
  • Formulate control strategies
  • Use it as a tool to ensure their compliance to HACCP plans

Worth noting also is the recent Minnesota State Regulation on Meat, Poultry, and Fish Products Sold by Weight (Minn. R. 1545.0290). This state law requires all fish and seafood products offered or exposed for sale shall be sold by weight. The quantity representation to be used in the sale shall be the total weight of the product.

Other regulations on Fish and Seafood products can be found in the Minnesota Statutes 2021, Chapter 31, cited as the “Minnesota Food Law”.  Specifically, the following are stated:

  • Fishery Products Rules (31.101, Subd. 9). This rule states that all functions of the Department of Agriculture pertaining to fish, shellfish and any similar products will be delegated to the Department of Interior by the Director of the Budget. They will be in charge of developing standards, performing inspection and certifications, and regulations of rates.
  • Meat Industry Division (31.60, Subd. 1). In relation to the above rule, this rule informs the creation of a Meat Industry Division in the Department of Agriculture which shall enforce and administer laws by the Commissioner of Agriculture relating to meat, fish, and dressed poultry.


Fisheries Legislation in Somalia

Many parts of the world are challenged by Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. These activities threaten the conservation and management of fish products in every country. It also diminishes the effort of national and regional organizations leading to the loss of both short and long-term social and economic opportunities. In effect, food security and the environment cannot be wholly protected. In Somalia, IUU has destabilized the coastal communities by threatening the livelihood and security of those living in the coastal areas of the country.

The Fisheries law of the Federal Republic of Somalia (Review of 2016) provides for the management and conservation of marine aquatic resources and habitat and the development of this industry. This Act designates 24 nautical miles of the coastline within a protection zone to protect fishermen. It also authorized the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Somalia to consult and cooperate with international and national government and non-government organizations.

By doing so, they will be able to plan, manage and develop programs to regulate the industry to include registration of fishing activities and licenses. The law also lists various prohibited acts such as dangerous fishing methods, catching of marine mammals and turtles, polluting fishing waters, destruction of coral reefs among others.


Recycling Facilities Industry Regulations

There is no national law in the United States that mandates recycling. However, state and local governments initiate their own recycling requirements. Each state collaborates across departments, and with non-profit organizations to implement a successful recycling program.

The EPA is tasked to regulate household, industrial, and manufacturing solid and hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In particular, the RCRA has the following objectives:

  • Protection from the hazards of waste disposal;
  • Conservation of energy and natural resources by recycling and recovery;
  • Reduction or elimination of waste; and
  • Cleaning up of waste that may have spilled, leaked or been improperly disposed of.

In 2014, Minnesota updated its recycling goals. It required all state agencies in the Twin Cities Metro Area to achieve a recycling rate of 75 percent or higher by the year 2030. Since 2016, the State Admin has partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Waste Wise Foundation to implement changes in their recycling program.

The State Admin believes that over 90 percent of Minnesota’s waste can be recycled or composted. They believe that by upgrading their recycling programs, it will ensure meeting and even surpassing their legislative goals; and make them progress toward becoming a zero-waste workplace.


Market Trends

The African Marine Fisheries is valued at $24 billion per year. Based on the Quartz Africa report, small-scale fisheries are making the greatest contribution to the continent’s economy than the bigger players. The fisheries and aquaculture sector employs about 12.3 million people where 50% are fishers and the rest are from the fish processing and marketing sector. However, according to the report, Africa does not benefit from the rewards of this $24 billion worth industry.

There are several reasons for the inability of the fish industry to take off in the “Horn of Africa” region.

Switzerland has launched its Horn of Africa cooperation programme that focuses on social programs for this region. It  includes programs on good governance, food security, health, migration and the protection of vulnerable communities. Additionally, it focuses on Somalia and covers some areas of Ethiopia and Kenya in its borders. This also provides emergency aid as needed.

The program recognizes that the “Horn of Africa” is one of the world’s most conflict-prone and fragile regions. Some of the factors given are “protracted conflict and violent extremism, weak governance, and poor quality of public services.”  It also mentioned the impact of climate change as one of its challenges.

Despite all these challenges, the Horn of Africa is seen to have the potential to drive positive improvements in the region, including the roll out of mobile telecommunications, rapid digital innovation and an “agile global diaspora”. Switzerland has tapped a generation of young and connected citizens to work closely and create hope for the region.


Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing (IUU)

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) fishing industries are continuously being challenged with various factors. The most severe is the presence of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing or more commonly called IUU fishing. This activity results in the loss of millions of revenue annually. There are at least $458 million in losses for the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and another $136 million for the Pacific Island countries. In West Africa, IUU claims to have more than $974 billion losses per year.

IUU happens from shallow coastal waters to the remote stretches of the ocean. More often these activities happen to countries who:

  • Has undeveloped fisheries management or fisheries controls
  • Lack of resources to protect their our waters
  • Limited resources to enforce their fisheries regulations.

Africa and the Western Central Pacific has the highest rate of IUU activities, followed by the Bering Sea and Southwest Atlantic.

Offenders usually get away when caught practicing IUU. Money is the main driver of this obstacle. This happens because IUU avoids taxes or duties on their illegal catch.

To stop IUU fishing, some systems have started and are being negotiated. In June 2016, the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) was passed which is the first binding international agreement to stop IUU caught fish being traded in their countries. There are 68 nations and the European Union who signed their agreement and many await China, the world’s fishing superpower, to ratify it.

Other efforts are United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Life Below Water”,  World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference on fisheries subsidies, and national and industry efforts on increasing the traceability of seafood through technology.


The Rise of Piracy

The Somalia Fisheries Ministry admits to their inability to police its waters from piracy. Since the Horn of Africa has the longest coastline in the region, and owns at least 2 million square kilometers of the Exclusive Economic Zone located in the area outward of the sea, the country has a rich unexploited fish and fossil fuel as well. These unexplored resources can generate around $135 million income per year to Somalia. However, it is left to be exploited by pirates or foreign vessels.

Since 2018, Somalia has been working on collaborating with other international support groups and sharing agreements to include the implementation of a registration system for foreign and local vessels. In 2021, a new law was drafted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources which aims to unify all stakeholders to regulate and protect the growth of the fishing industry in Somalia.


Trade Barriers

Another issue that Somalians need to address is its lack of competitiveness in the international market. Most local fish producers fall short of the high product standards required by their international counterparts. Alongside this, Somalians may need to upgrade their storing facility infrastructure to cope with the growth of the fishing industry.

There are also illegal trade practices or cross-border trade happening in the country as revealed in a survey of IGAD Member States. Most of the respondents in the interview who were producers, middlemen, traders or dealers, reveal that there is either a better demand or a better price being offered by their neighboring markets. Another reason for these activities to be flourishing is tax avoidance and to steer clear of quality certification, license and other so-called “red tapism”.

This illegal trade activity mainly happens on the high seas. An example of this is when a fisherman who catches a big fish, and happens to be near some Yemeni boats who operate in the area, sells it as a whole fish for the sake of convenience. When this happens data on the total production of fishery and amount of revenue may not be recorded as the country’s trade income.


Climate Change

Climate plays a role in Somalia’s economy and livelihoods. The country’s economy is largely agricultural. This economic activity accounted for about 65% of the GDP and employment in 2017. In Somalia, climate change may cause severe hazards especially when droughts and floods occur. When drought happens, groundwater levels decline while water prices increase. Its effects such as sea surface warming, ocean acidification, rising sea levels and extreme weather events will definitely affect the fishing industry. These effects will destroy fish and aquatic habitat, as well as reduce fish stocks.

This region contributes little to the global greenhouse emissions but they are seen to be the most vulnerable and least prepared to face global warming. The brief reports that in the 2019 UN General assembly, African leaders across 48 countries used the term “climate change” 212 times. Further, under the Paris Agreement, developed countries offered $100 billion to African nations. However, this is also a challenge to the African countries as they have their own financial obligations and difficulty shifting to cleaner energy and green economies.


Post-Pandemic Events

A primary post-pandemic issue affecting the fish industry is the price volatility of fish products. In a publication from FAO, the increasing demand for tilapia products results in increased pricing for the said fish. Tilapia’s steady demand in the market during the pandemic was due to its low price and extensive availability as a frozen product. It is expected that its aquaculture production will increase after the pandemic but the increasing demand has also sent prices soaring. National Fisheries Institute (NFI) projects a 3% increase of global tilapia production in 2022. This growth is an indicator of post-pandemic recovery and resumption of business operations in the producing regions. Regardless of the increased supply, prices of tilapia will still increase due to the high demand of consumers and the increased freight and input costs of operation.

Aside from production drawbacks, the Horn of Africa has difficulty of reaching at least 60% herd immunity. Although the COVAX mechanism was designed to be distributed to low income countries at a reduced rate, only 20% of Africa’s population was allocated with them. In a recent report of the WHO, doctors are making every effort to strengthen health systems in the greater Horn of Africa. These countries suffered humanitarian crises brought on by drought, flooding, armed conflicts, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A $16 million allocation, which is the largest allocation to date, from WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) was approved to benefit health emergencies in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. An estimated 80 million people in these countries are starving resulting from malnutrition. WHO wanted to counter both malnutrition and prepare the countries from outbreaks of diseases. It plans to set up a hub in Nairobi to build an emergency health force and preparedness response.


Trends in the Recycling Industries in the U.S.

According to RTS, a commercial waste and garbage disposal company, 5 key recycling and diversion insights should be kept in mind for 2022.

  1. It is expected that governments will set stronger targets on recycling by imposing stricter recycling laws especially at the state level.
  2. When China banned the import of plastics and other materials for them to process, this created the piling up of recyclable items in their landfills all over the world.
  3. The rate waste is being recycled or diverted rose from 7% in 1960 to almost 35% today. Raising awareness by educating Americans is still the key especially for highly contaminated waste.
  4. Donating a car saves 8,811 lbs of CO2 greenhouse emissions, correctly reusing a refrigerator eliminates 566 lbs of CO2 greenhouse gasses, and recycling plastic bottles saves 3,380 lbs.
  5. Shifting to eco-friendly and virtue-based brands are already evident to most consumers. Some examples given are Method soaps, Rothy’s shoes and Beyond Meat.


Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Effects

The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to a new type of waste known as the pandemic waste. Aside from categorizing these wastes as hazardous, the recycling industry has been challenged to develop advanced and safest ways to eliminate such waste. Pandemic waste includes face masks, gloves, masks, respirators and their packaging. The increase in the volume of plastic wastes from the pandemic has given another strain in the recycling industry.

Likewise, since the pandemic and until after, the growing trend of using e-commerce businesses generated more waste globally. Another article on recycling trends  promotes a “circular economy” vs. a “linear economy”, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic added more pressure on sourcing materials and manufacturing products.

The illustration above suggests that the recycling industry is likely to evolve into a “reprocessing industry”. Garbage trucks will not be used just to dump waste into landfills. Instead, it will be also used to return valuable resources found in the waste they collect and return it to manufacturers.

In the same manner, businesses may have to rethink the way they view raw materials. Soon, recycled materials and the current raw materials used by these businesses may be viewed as equal due to insufficiency and necessity. Sustainable practices will become the new normal.

According to Reuters, many recycling businesses worldwide have declined since the pandemic. The decrease is recorded at 20% in Europe, 50% in parts of Asia and 60% for some companies in the United States. In the article, Greg Janson of QRS recycling company says “his position would have been unimaginable a decade ago: The United States has become one of the cheapest places to make virgin plastic, so more is coming onto the market.” He also said that the pandemic made things worse for the industry. Mr. Janson is from St. Louis, Missouri, who has been in the recycling business for 46 years.


Improvements on the Identification of Recyclable Materials

China’s “National Sword” policy has shocked the world and not every country was ready for the repercussions. The U.S. Waste Management Services has been dependent on China for most of its recyclables and as a result it has not developed its own recycling infrastructure. The need to develop advanced waste recycling services to protect the people and the environment may pose an opportunity for additional types of service for the industry.

One suggestion to improve the current recyclable material indicator is to assist recycling facilities in differentiating the items. The numbered recycling symbols on the labels of recyclable products in the past were ineffective. Instead, the use of Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) circuits to be embedded in the product package will be more effective. This technology is affordable and will ensure vital information like how to recycle the product, will be effective in avoiding contamination and confusion. Overall, new players who can launch new and advanced technology in the industry will give the industry hope.


Problems in the U.S. Recycling System

There has not been an economical or efficient way to handle recycling when the market in China disappeared. Most of the time, the recycling service of the government competes with the local funding of schools, policies and other state priorities. Most of the time, it loses to these. Stephanie Kersten-Johnston, an adjunct professor in Columbia University’s Sustainability Management Master’s Program and director of circular ventures at The Recycling Partnership, stated that “Without dedicated investment, recycling infrastructure won’t be sufficient. In addition, we need to resolve the simple math equation that currently exists — when it’s cheap to landfill, recycling will not be ‘worthwhile’ so we need to start to recognize what landfill really is: a waste of waste!” Aside from funding, another pressing issue is the accessibility of collection sites.

It is estimated that only 59% of U.S. single-family households have access to curbside recycling services. Also, 6% percent have no recycling services available at all. The government under Biden’s administration has repeatedly mentioned addressing climate change is his priority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked to oversee the National Recycling Strategy and to give the details about the administration’s approach to source reduction. According to critics, “source reduction,” which is a waste management approach, has been left out.

It is expected that the EPA “Green Guides” 2022 will be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission. This guide, once finalized, will be a reference to recyclers, state and federal lawmakers to ensure accurate recyclability claims of products. The $350 million additional recycling-related funding, to include infrastructure investment, will be available by the end of 2022.


Recycling Milestones in Somalia

When one thinks of Somalia in East Africa, drought and tribal wars come to mind. The country may be lagging behind the global Environmental Performance Index, but a volunteer emerged from this country as a Recycling Hero. The Global Recycling Foundation announced that Abdi Hirsi, a volunteer with a motto “waste is a resource,” was awarded as one of the 10 Recycling Heroes of 2021.

Hirsi started around 20 years ago and he now owns a pioneering recycling company based in the capital Mogadishu. He began with a World Bank grant to operate a plastics recycling plant. Now his company is a recycling platform producing products for construction and serving 17 city districts.

Hirsi is one of the 10 awarded during the celebration of Global Recycling Day last March 18, 2022. A prize money of EUR 500 was given to the winners for their dedication and innovation in local recycling. Another success story in the recycling industry is the AADCO Paper Factory, which is the only paper manufacturing company in Somalia. With only 50 staff members, this paper company has diversified its business by starting the first recycling initiative of its kind in Somaliland.

AADCO now produces egg trays developed from waste paper for poultry companies who previously have been importing from China or Dubai. The company is now exploring other recycling initiatives in support of reducing environmental waste. One Earth Future and its Shuraako program has assisted AADCO in obtaining funding to expand their facilities, introduce new products and reduce dependence on color print covers and supplies. This only proves that even in conflict-affected areas, some will have the potential to soar to great heights.


Products and Services

A variety of different seafood products are sold under the Nearfish umbrella. There will be a chance to sell seafood into Ethiopia and Kenya, which are both growth economies, as well as Somalia and Somaliland. In addition, there is a large market opportunity for recycling in Somalia, potentially through strategic partnerships, which the company plans to pursue beginning in years 3 or 4.


Nearfish Seafood

However, at the outset Nearfish is focused on growing the seafood production portion of the business. The company plans a one-stop shop for both online and offline seafood orders. Nearfish will offer quality fish, meat, seafood, and frozen foods under one banner at one location.


Competitive Advantages

Nearfish will differentiate from the competition with the following key advantages:


Quality Product Creates Better Outcomes for Customers

Nearfish intends to perform better than the competition by focusing on the quality of the product. Performance is not only about the results the company achieves but also how they are. For example, Nearfish will take individual responsibility for personal objectives and results across the supply chain. This will ensure that quality products are fished and sold.


Sustainability-Linked Fishing Practices for a Better Supply Chain

The company will obtain high-quality seafood from sustainable fisheries. This strategy is important to ensure sustainable fish stock for generations to come. Also, the company will only work with suppliers that have the same standards and views on this important concept. By harvesting from sustainable resources, it is the company’s belief these products deserve to be treated with high quality and respect.


Focusing on the Customer Always to Ensure Standards are Met

Nearfish will be the preferred seafood partner for customers. One way to attain this objective is to ensure all decisions are made with the customer in mind. By working together with customers in a long-term partnership, the company intends to add value.


Management Experience and Research Uniquely Positions the Company

The Nearfish management team also did research, and frequently travels, which has helped fully inform the selected markets. The research and travels form a bedrock for the work with customers to build long-term partnerships for mutual benefits.


Social Responsibility is a Key Driver for the Mission

The company embraces social responsibility. This philosophy will help YIFFIZ protect the positive image of the company. Nearfish intends to demonstrate this responsibility on a daily basis by respecting the culture, customs, and rules of customers and their communities. Also, the company will have open and honest communications with all customers and have the courage to express an opinion. Finally, YIFFIZ takes responsibility for actions and duties, performing them to the best of the company’s ability.


Key Success Factors

The company’s success depends on a variety of internal and external factors including:


Supply Chain Management: The logistics of a U.S.-based company entering into the fishing industry within the African continent presents certain challenges to Nearfish. Namely, purchasing the equipment and supplies needed to begin a fishing venture then transporting to Africa. On the other hand, if equipment is procured locally in Africa then key supplier relationships will be imperative.


Industry Knowledge: Through a combination of the management team and co-founders, Nearfish is uniquely positioned in the fishing industry with experience across the full lifecycle of fishing production. The team has mastered the art of building key supplier relationships, developed a concept for sustainably sourced fishing practices, and working on implementing in the target market. Specifically, Nearfish will also hire a team of fishermen and others to perform the work to the highest level of quality.


Strategic Partnerships: Working in the African continent within Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya primarily to start Nearfish must build key relationships with strategic partners. This includes wholesalers, distributors, and retailers in order to sell locally into these markets. The company must designate individuals who will develop and manage these relationships, in order to break into the mold.


Quality Management: Managing the consistency in fish quality will be imperative to the success of Nearfish. The company will be focused on sustainable fisheries and sourcing stock from these areas. The quality and nutrition of the Nearfish products will be a key competitive advantage. Therefore, adhering to strict internal quality standards, as well as other industry standards, will assist the company in meeting these goals.


Sales and Marketing Plan

Nearfish understands the importance of sales and marketing activities to accelerate the growth of the company. Activities at a high-level will include lead generation, such as contacting decision makers at large fishing distributors or retailers. The senior management team has key contacts, so these individuals will handle initial sales. The sales process involves making sales presentations and working with key stakeholders. Nearfish will be launching a public relations (PR) campaign, advertising campaign, and making public appearances. The company will pursue strategic alliances within the fishing industry.

For social media, one area to note is that the number of African social media users has risen continuously, amounting to over 384 million as of 2022. Social media presence is considerably higher in Northern and Southern Africa than in other regions, but the entire continent is growing the usage of various platforms. For platforms, Facebook has 72% of the user base; YouTube with 14%; Twitter with 7%; Pinterest and Instagram with 3% each; and finally, LinkedIn with 0.3%.

Several trade organizations will be critical to pursue relationships with. The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is a leading advocacy organization in the U.S. for the seafood industry. The member companies represent every element of the industry from the fishing vessels at sea to the national seafood restaurant chains. Moreover, there is The National Coalition of Fishing Communities which is composed of American commercial fishing ports, businesses, and advocacy organizations.

The World Bank also offers opportunities to network and market within the African continent. The Global Program on Fisheries (PROFISH) provides information, knowledge products and expertise to help design and implement good governance. Drawing upon PROFISH’s results, the World Bank designed the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARF-P), a $170 million investment covering coastal West Africa from Mauritania to Ghana.

In 2015, the Bank also approved the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Program (SWIOFish), a $215.5 million investment covering East Africa and neighboring island countries. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 declared the Blue Economy to be “Africa’s Future,” and recognizes the key role the ocean plays as a catalyst for socioeconomic transformation.

Therefore, Nearfish is well-positioned to market the business, as well as build valuable relationships through networking groups to spearhead a campaign for growth. The company is focused on both inbound and outbound initiatives for sales and marketing, thus it will be imperative to explore all options particularly those relevant to the African continent.


Target Customer


Business to Business (B2B)

B2B customers will be a key group for Nearfish to target. The company provides a one-stop shop for wholesalers and distributors as Nearfish sells quality fish, meat, seafood, and frozen foods under one banner at one location. Furthermore, the company will work with sustainable fisheries. This strategy is important for B2B to ensure sustainable fish stock for generations to come. Also, the company only works with suppliers that have the same standards and views on this important concept. By harvesting from sustainable resources, it is the company’s belief these products deserve to be treated with high quality and respect.

  • Employs between 3-50 employees
  • Doing business in Somalia, Ethiopia, or Kenya
  • Focused on sustainable fishing for the future
  • Established contacts with retailers and other market vendors
  • Generates between $0.5-$5M in annual revenue


Business to Consumers (B2C)

Consumers will also be a core customer group for Nearfish to target. The company provides a one-stop shop for individual consumers as Nearfish sells online under one banner at one location. This presents an opportunity for individuals to obtain high quality products from Somalia that are sustainably sourced. With the rise in sustainable products, this presents an opportunity to market directly to consumers who wish to buy fresh fish that is nutritious and without harmful additives.

  • Aged 22-65
  • Average household income of $40,000-$200,000
  • Lives in Somalia, Ethiopia, or Kenya as well as worldwide for online orders
  • Employed full or part time
  • Purchased a sustainable product within the past year
  • Bought seafood in the past year


Key Channels

With a number of different channels available, Nearfish has the ability to generate interest through marketing channels to different customers and markets. The following key channels are general areas that the company could market to through the budget it has.


Events (in person and virtual): Events and conferences in the fishing industry will be key to the growth of Nearfish. This will ensure the company’s branding is seen in the market, specifically in-person. In addition, this will provide the company with the opportunity to network with key players in the fishing sphere. Some of these events are organized via social media, therefore it will be vital for the company to work with these organizers for sponsorship. As mentioned, the U.S. has several trade organizations and Africa is continually receiving investment as well as programs for the African fishing trade.


Social Media: The company will leverage social media advertising, curating content to reach each target market while specifically focused on fishing and sustainability. Social media channels will include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram as these are the top-4 most popular channels in Africa . Depending on the audience, content will be focused on fishing industry topics, the African continent fishing industry, tips and tricks, business and earnings information, or product and services for sale. The goal is to generate awareness and engage people with the Nearfish brand.


Google Advertising: The company will leverage the power of Google Ads to accelerate the awareness of the brand in the market. This will ensure that Nearfish is recognized as a leader. The website will benefit greatly from this activity in order to initially boost the page to first-page rankings, or other areas where ads are shown. The awareness of the fishing industry and available products will educate users on Nearfish. Google Ads typically requires a spend of at least $1,000 $for an effective campaign meanwhile there is the management too of the ads. Nonetheless, this key activity is vital for a business to rank on keywords for individuals to search on Google


Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A great website needs search engine optimization to go along with it. Nearfish will utilize SEO best practices to rank on Google, as well as include ads management in the beginning to ensure it is shown to prospective clients. The key will be to also incorporate backlinks and blog content on the fishing and sustainability industries. The backlinks will allow Nearfish to showcase its suite of products, and key insights, on other websites to ensure it ranks more effectively. SEO takes time for businesses to implement properly. Sometimes this can take upwards of 2 years. However, once SEO begins to work then it allows a company to reduce ad spend.


SWOT Analysis


Operational Plan

The Nearfish governance and management structure is built with scalability in mind. The team possesses years of experience in their respective fields, particularly seafood and fishing, to ensure that the initial business strategy, and ongoing operations run smoothly. The chain of command and hierarchy at Nearfish is intended to be collaborative, while respecting traditional structures of large, complex matrixed organizations. The Management Team at Nearfish currently consists of 5 members all co-founders. This operational section describes this chain of command, in further detail, and each operational area’s specific alignment to the overall business. A sound operational framework and tactical execution are specific advantages that the company will lean into, provided the previous business experience of the leadership team. The company’s operational timeline plans to take the company from a local Somalia seafood producer to a globally established and recognized brand. Nearfish will provide fresh, quality products to the African continent as well as worldwide.


Operational Process

The operational process for producing seafood for sale is extensive involving six key steps. The company will need to implement rigorous operational procedures, processes, and systems in order to integrate the supply chain.

  1. There is technology support for resource management such as analyzing the amount of fish stock as well as fishing personnel.
  2. Production and capture is the actual fishing component of the process as the ship and personnel catch stock.
  3. The fish is transported back to the dock and the first producer point.
  4. The company adds value-added products such as special packaging, handling, or other key features to add freshness and uniqueness.
  5. Distribution and logistics are key to transporting the finished product.
  6. Lastly, sales are made to consumers, restaurants, retailers, brokers, and large-scale buyers of the finished product.


Health & Safety

Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations worldwide. In the United States, for example, there is a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average. Since 1991, the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Western States Division (WSD) office in Alaska has conducted studies on fishing safety to reduce injuries and fatalities among fishermen. Studies show the greatest dangers to fishermen are falls overboard, vessel disasters, and machinery on deck. WSD identifies high-risk fisheries in the U.S., makes recommendations, and creates targeted interventions.


NIOSH recommends that all fishermen should:

  • Take a marine safety class at least once every 5 years.
  • Find a PFD and wear it on deck at all times.
  • Do monthly drills including abandoning ship, flooding, fire, and man overboard.
  • Heed weather forecasts and avoid fishing in severe conditions.
  • Maintain watertight integrity by inspecting and monitoring the hull of the vessel, ensuring that watertight doors and hatches are sealed.
  • Utilize a man overboard alarm system.
  • Test immersion suits for leaks if operating in cold water.


NIOSH recommends that all vessel owners/operators should:

  • Create a PFD policy for the crew while working on deck.
  • Conduct monthly drills including abandoning ship, flooding, fire, and man overboard.
  • Install a man overboard alarm system, and man overboard retrieval devices.
  • Install emergency stop (e-stop) devices on hydraulic deck machinery to prevent entanglement.
  • Ensure all crew members have completed marine safety training in the past 5 years.


Equipment & Inventory

Various gear types are used in commercial fishing. There are some regional differences to specific fishing practices, however in general these are the necessary items to launch a venture.

  • Bottom longlines
  • Bottom trawls
  • Buoy gear
  • Dredges
  • Fish aggregating devices
  • Gillnets
  • Green sticks
  • Hook and line
  • Midwater trawls
  • Pelagic longlines
  • Pound nets
  • Purse seines
  • Skimmer trawls
  • Traps/pots



Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are the initial geographies which Nearfish will target. Each has its own unique characteristics which the company is aware of and has analyzed.

Due to the fish-rich waters surrounding Somalia, the prospect of a commercial fishing industry supporting the livelihood of Somalis has caught the attention of investors and the international donor community. However, the fishing industry only contributes approximately 1 to 2% of Somalia’s GDP, despite the international efforts to strengthen the sector, due to its inability to reach global markets.  

Kenya’s fishing industry contributes approximately 0.5% of the national GDP and is about 2% of the national export earnings. The industry employs over 60,000 fishermen directly and an estimated 1.2 million people directly, or indirectly, work within the fishing, production and supply chain areas.

More than 183 fish species exist in Ethiopia. The potential of these water bodies is estimated to be 51,481 tonnes/year. Of this amount, only 30% of the capacity is being utilized. This figure is based on the socio-economic factors, resource availability, and religious influence on fish consumption.

6.5 Risk Analysis

Nearfish has identified the following risks, and established the proceeding mitigation plans:


Key Personnel

Fishing Boat Captain

A fishing boat captain leads the crew for the vessel. They are responsible for all aspects of the safety and coordination of the ship’s operations. The captain will inspect the boat to ensure it is entirely safe for crew, and that it is seaworthy. Additionally, manages the evacuation of a boat and stays in position and control of the operation throughout. Ensures the proper docking and undocking of vessels. In this role, the captain also provides guidance across all aspects of the commercial fishing operation.



A commercial fisherman catches and traps various types of fish. The catch is for human and animal consumption, bait, and other uses. The commercial fisherman’s key responsibilities will include preparing the fish for sale, examining the fish for any defects or signs of poor health, and unloading the caught fish off the vessel. The fisherman can also perform minor repairs on fishing gear and equipment as needed.


Fish Cutter

Fish cutters are responsible for ensuring the fish cases are well-stocked with fresh, high-quality seafood products for customers. They receive, stock, cut, prepare, wrap, weigh, price, and merchandise seafood department products. The fish cutter is responsible for the fish once it is caught and unloaded to ensure that it is ready for consumption or sale.


Financial Plan

The following financial plan was conservatively developed including a pro forma income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet.


Pro Forma Income Statement


Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement


Pro Forma Balance Sheet


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