Andrea Williams is a proud fisher woman from the North Coast community. She is the founder of “Successful Catches” which is a fish retail business. The company’s operations are situated on the Saddle road, Santa Cruz obliquely opposite the Cantaro Unipet Service Station (next to the Santa Cruz Health Centre) on weekdays and the Santa Cruz Green Market on weekends.
Ms. Williams said, “fishing for her is a hobby turned into a business”. Besides fishing she also is a budding farmer planting pineapples. She gained knowledge about farming by registering for FREE short courses offered by the Ministry of Agriculture Land and Fisheries (MALF). Her inspiration is fueled from her father who was a fisher and a farmer cultivating his land located in Damien, North Coast for over 40 years. However, her father is retired from the business and this allowed her to gain easy entry into the industry and be his successor.
Armed with practical knowledge and formal training in agriculture she found a gap in fisheries related training. Ms. Williams performed a search online and found Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute (CFTDI). The organization is the only training agency that specializes in seafood technology and fisheries training in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the wider Caribbean.
CFTDI’s office is located in 1st Avenue South, Chaguaramas (opposite the Trinidad Salt Factory). The institute provides training to meet the needs of all stakeholders in the fisheries sector as well as entrepreneurs in the business. Here she registered for the Fin Fish Handling and Processing Course or Module 101 which aims to provide the participant with information and skills, which will allow them to produce safe and wholesome products. It is also the pre-requisite course for the advanced courses.
The Fin Fish Handling and Processing Course added key quality assurance and quality control skills to really strengthen her practical knowledge. Ms. Williams said “the course enhanced how she was able to handle the fish from sea to fork maintaining quality and food safety”. She also mentioned that the course also provided ways of presenting fish in different market forms to meet consumer preferences, improve yields, packaging options by species, labelling and different value-added products derived from fish which is tasty, nutritious and free from preservatives. In addition, the she expressed she was exposed to commercial grade equipment and all this through a perfect mix of theory and practical sessions.
Successful Catch is a home-based operation and employs the services of one person. Her tag line is “100% Caught by a Woman”. She practices artisanal fishing using an outboard engine only on the North Coast. The main types of fishing methods used are banking and palangue. Sustainability is one of the key aspects of the business for her as ONLY what is caught, is what is sold. Adding value to the fish is also the goal to increase profits and meet changing consumer demands, she stated. Some of the species caught are grunt, shark, red snapper, salmon, moonshine, cavalli, trigger fish and croaker. Her prices range from as low as $20/lb to $35/lb. She also runs promotional offers such as “Plenty for $20”. In terms of value-added products; she produces fish fillets, seasoned fish, seasoned-battered fish, seasoned shark kebabs, shark loins and grouper tea. Upcoming products are salted fish and smoked fish.
Ms. Andrea Williams business contact number is 389-0329.