Commercial fish farm proposed in eSikhaleni
LAKE Qhubu in eSikhaleni could become the site of a commercial fish farm, should the relevant permissions be given by government departments.
The project will be a primary and secondary agriculture producer focusing on the production of freshwater fish such as Tilapia, and value adding processing for human consumption.
On behalf of the Madlankala Primary Co-operative, Phando Environmental Consulting has been appointed as the project’s Environmental Assessment Practitioner and are undertaking the Basic Assessment (BA), Water Use Licence application and hosting the public participation process.
The Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS), an international standard system for intensively farming aquatic species, will be implemented.
According to Phando Environmental Consulting, RAS is the foremost international method of farming fish in a closed, environmentally friendly and sustainable way, capable of producing optimal output on a small area footprint in a highly efficient way.
‘Although relatively costly to set up and operate, there is no other system capable of producing fish as efficiently as RAS.
‘It satisfies all the economic, environmental and health considerations of producing food in the modern world.’
A 40 production pond system is proposed, which will be housed in three 30m x 10m agricultural-type steel and plastic tunnels, complete with extensive filtration and reticulation systems.
Including the reservoir, the total water in circulation when in full operation will be 611kl.
Taking into account water loss through evaporation, mechanical failure and filtration-related processes, the water to be added to the system per month is estimated at 60kl in summer and 15kl in winter.
The system is reportedly capable of holding 40 000 fish of all sizes and would expect to produce an average monthly harvest of 3.5 tons.
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