Jobs at Mossel Bay fish processing plant on the line

This follows a 60% reduction in Viking Inshore Fishing's trawl fishing quota for hake, which it claims was an irrational decision by the Fisheries Department.

Hake is one of the items processed by Viking. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Viking Inshore Fishing says it will have to carefully consider what to do about its processing factory in Mossel Bay where some 179 jobs are at risk.

It follows a 60% reduction of its trawl fishing quota for hake, which it claims was an irrational decision by the Fisheries Department.

In a blow to Viking Inshore Fishing, the High Court in Cape Town has lifted an interdict that prevented existing and new entrants from participating in the sector.

The company was hoping to stop others from fishing until its issue with the department was resolved.

Viking Inshore Fishing's Rory Williams says the Mossel Bay factory is closed for now.

“Where we can deploy staff elsewhere we have done so. Or we are paying them a retention. So I do have to just relook at that position.”

Legal consultant for the department Shaheen Moola says transformation is a factor in deciding a company's quota.

“It would be impossible to potentially highlight every aspect of it but it is set out in extreme details in the general published reasons of the 20th of December and so it’s quite a complex formula, but it looks at a multiplicity of factors.”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)