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 husbandry.
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.
For seven years Vaughn Bursey and John Tinley (above) of Smiling Valley Aquaculture have pursued and persevered their passion for aquaculture by farming marron freshwater crayfish. Mike Burgess visits them to find that this year - thanks to the knowledge gleaned from years of trial and error - they expect to produce up to 80 000 juveniles and 1 500kg edible marron from their 1,2ha of ponds