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Fish Farms Planned for Karoo

by Ellen Hardy
08 July 2008, at 1:00am

SOUTH AFRICA - An Eastern Cape company is planning to farm fish in the middle of South Africa's hot and arid Great Karoo.

The Camdeboo Satellite Aquaculture Project says it wants to build about 50 "farms" in the Camdeboo area, near the historic town of Graaf-Reinet.

The project receives funds from the provincial government and last year won a grant of more than RAND 745,000 for the aquaculture project.

According to reports in Engineering News and Business Report the project organisers believe there is a gap in the market that makes operating a fish farm in the semi desert a viable prospect.

According to co-ordinator Liesl de la Harpe, the project "aims to produce fish in captivity and at high densities".

It is being driven by a Graaf-Reinet-based company, Camdeboo Bream.

De la Harpe said in a media release on Monday the project would make use of "re-circulating aquaculture systems placed in greenhouse tunnels" to grow the fish.

Once they had reached a "market weight" of 30g, the fish would be canned. This would "fill the enormous gap created by the sharp decline in the annual pilchard quota".

The project would make use of existing water sources, which were currently solely used to sustain livestock and crops.

A pilot phase is to be launched in January next year.

According to the statement, project co-ordinators are talking to potential investors and funders.

View the Business Report story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy