Zapata In Joint Fishing Venture In Costa Rica

Zapata Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, Zapata Seafoods, Inc., has completed arrangements establishing a tuna fishing joint venture in Costa Rica with a group of private investors.

The diversified natural resources company said that the primary joint venture firm is Pescamar De Centroamerica S.A. Pescamar will operate three tuna seiners formerly in Zapata's domestic operations.

An affiliate, Sardimar S.A., has a small sardine fishing operation in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Zapata said that it has received approval from the U.S. Maritime Administration for the transfer of eight tuna vessels from U.S.

to foreign registry. Three of the vessels, formerly called the Anna Maria, Blue Pacific, and Jacqueline A, have been renamed the Cariari, Talamanca, and Boruca, respectively, and are registered under the Costa Rican flag for operation by Pescamar. The company said that the other five vessels will be re-registered outside the U.S. Zapata previously has mentioned its intent to establish a tuna venture in Mexico. Two additional tuna vessels remain under the U.S. flag.

William H. Flynn, Zapata Corporation chairman and president, said that the new Costa Rican venture represents the first step in the company's long-range program to redeploy part of its tuna fleet to countries which control the resource. He cited the recent adoption of 200-mile territorial zones by a number of Latin American countries as responsible for major changes in tuna resource economics. Mr. Flynn added that Zapata's participation in such fishing and processing ventures will broaden its access to different fish resources and help to stabilize year-to-year variations in resource availability.

The company said that the Pescamar/Sardimar venture will allow Zapata to affiliate with an existing sardine fishing and canning operation, providing it with a modest participation in that resource.

Zapata added that Sardimar will can tuna at its existing processing plant, using fish provided by Pescamar.

Zapata Corporation entered the fishing business in 1967 with the acquisition of U.S. menhaden operations.

It established its tuna operations in 1973, and began a Mexican anchovy fishing venture in 1976.

In recent years, Zapata has emerged as one of the largest independent fishing operations in the Free World, and the world's largest non-governmentally owned producer of fish meal. Its fishing operations now involve a total of 60 vessels, 35 spotter aircraft and seven processing plants, located in four countries. The company's tuna division operates 15 vessels, and a cannery at St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

Zapata Corporation (NYSE), Zapata Tower, P.O. Box 4240, Houston, Texas 77001, provides diversified natural resource services and products around the world. In addition to fishing, its businesses include offshore drilling, marine services, petroleum exploration, bulk shipping; coal and copper mining; and construction and dredging.

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