Aquaculture is far more diverse than many realise. The practice can vary in size, technique and breeds.
Tilapia are hardy, but survival is one thing and fast growth another – and in culture units poor performance is invariably due to poor husbandry.
All too often, even well-built, hi-tech grow-out systems are let down by inadequate filtration.
Techniques to produce all-male fingerlings are now an established part of tilapia culture and the use of mixed-sex groups is a backward step doomed to failure in any undertaking.
With tilapia culture new to South Africa, many entrepreneurs want to start small with a pilot project before investing substantial capital. This makes sense and is entirely possible.
There are important issues to consider before taking on the breeding of tilapia.
To answer this question, we first need to see what successful producers are doing elsewhere.
Designs of aquaculture systems within fish-farming tunnels vary widely, and many have failed. What options are available and what are the non-negotiables when it comes to tunnel design?
Ignore all that talk of ‘poor species’ and ‘low temperatures’ – tilapia farming in SA can succeed, as long as a few fundamentals are followed.
Prospective fish farmers take the risk of using poor quality breeding stock when they buy fingerlings of unknown ancestry. Such fish will not grow rapidly to market size, despite good...
Tilapia farming is now well established in Asia, but will only succeed in SA if good quality stock is used in an economically viable culture environment.
Adri Claassen, abalone farmer extraordinaire, talks to Denene Erasmus about farming these sought after sea delicacies.