A cage system for trout farming in Stellenbosch's Jonkershoek Valley.
Freshwater fish farming in South Africa is defined by the term ‘aquaculture’ and describes the process of producing fish for food in freshwater systems such as dams, open and indoor ponds, recirculation systems and tanks.
Freshwater aquaculture is skill and capital intensive and challenging due to South Africa’s temperate climate. Yet, freshwater aquaculture has the potential to grow through excellent aquaculture technology and linking up or consolidating South Africa’s many small-scale farmers to produce commercially viable volumes. Together with consumer education about freshwater fish species and clear government policies, the industry has the potential to grow and provide both quality protein and sustainable jobs.
The main food fish species produced in South Africa include trout, tilapia, marron (freshwater crayfish) and to a small extent, catfish.
This series on aquaculture by SouthAfrica.co.za is translated into all eleven official South African languages to educate and empower the people of South Africa on the potential of freshwater Aquaculture.
Aquaponics is the combination of fish farming and the growing of crops, such as herbs and vegetables....more
The world may face a serious food shortage if immediate action is not taken to prohibit unsustainable agricultural practices....more
Catfish are a fast-growing, warm water fish suitable for production in warm water systems. Catfish production in South Africa is limited but shows huge potential....more
Diseases and health problems in freshwater fish farming can occur due to factors such as pathogens, poor water quality and stress....more
Although disease outbreaks are not common in freshwater fish farming systems (aquaculture), pathogens that can cause illness and disease are always present in the water environment....more
The profitability of the fish farm depends on good feed management, optimal utilisation of the feed by the fish and minimal wastage....more
The most important areas for the production of freshwater fish species in South Africa are the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Kwazulu-Natal....more
The correct harvesting method and the maintenance of a cold chain from the production site to the processing factory are important for fish quality. ‘Cold chain’ means the maintaining of low temperatures from the dam to the factory and on to the shop...more
Catfish farming in South Africa has enormous potential, but new aquaculture farmers need to have a good marketing plan before they start....more
The growth rate of tilapia slows down when water temperatures are below 20°C and it shows little to no growth below 15°C....more
The growth rate of the fish in freshwater farming systems (aquaculture) has to be monitored throughout the season. Any change in the expected growth rate could indicate feeding problems, poor water quality or diseases....more
To start an aquaculture business in South Africa with the aim to produce freshwater fish, new fish farmers will need plans, skills, a suitable site and the right fish farming system suitable to their environment....more
A Graaff-Reinet based catfish farm started with the development of value-added products and obtaining buyers for those items and believes the lack-of-a-market trap can be avoided....more
Frequent inspection and regular maintenance of equipment reduces operational costs and improves production efficiency....more
In South Africa, ornamental fish farming is considered the ‘Cinderella’ or poor cousin of food fish aquaculture and industry experts predict this will not change soon....more
The purchasing of good quality young fish, fingerlings, is an important aspect of successful freshwater fish farming. Buy from properly managed hatcheries, enquire from other farmers, and make sure to buy healthy fish....more
During the late colonial period in the 1960s, administrations in many African countries attempted to promote rural aquaculture, mostly of tilapia species....more
The water quality of a dam and the source water for aquaculture, freshwater fish farming, must be tested before farming of fish can start. Always take test samples of water from different places in the dam and not from the shore alone....more
Good site selection is very important for successful freshwater aquaculture, fish farming. New aquaculture farmers often start with a piece of land and then look for funding....more
Used for thousands of years in subsistence farming, tilapia has grown to one of the top-10 favourite fish products in the USA....more
There are three main events in the tilapia farming timeline: breeding fingerlings, growing out and harvesting, as well as processing the yield....more
Tilapia consumption is growing worldwide and is widely served in restaurant chains, the retail sector on cruise ships, in hospitals and schools....more
Water quality is crucial for the farming of freshwater fish, aquaculture, in South Africa as it ensures a healthy water environment for the fish....more
Ornamental fish - such as koi, goldfish, and tropical aquarium fish - are beautiful fish kept for display purposes in either glass aquaria or fish ponds....more