WHERE DID IT START? |
At a Cape Town brewery where Newlands is today, the first fingerlings were hatched.
Enthusiastic anglers continued further distribution of brown, rainbow and brook trout to suitable parts of the country. The sixties marked the start of commercial production. Trout was distributed to extensive parts of the country, establishing populations in the upper reaches of most rivers in the cooler areas of South Africa. Trout also became prevalent in Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Kenya.
As with agriculture, where alien animal and plant species dominate, alien fish species account for practically all aquaculture activities globally. Few people realise that trout pioneered aquaculture in South Africa.
TROUT – THE SUSTAINABLE OPTION |
Keeping in mind ecosystem resources, trout aquaculture is a good choice for many reasons. Trout provide extensive ecosystem services in several ways:
- Trout farming is synonymous with eco-services. Talk trout and you talk minimal carbon emission and an infrastructure footprint that is small in relation to production.
- While sustaining substantial production, trout is not a consumptive water user and has little impact on river health.
- The ideal trout farm is situated above 1700 m and requires good quality water. The aquaculture activity leaves expansive field space fallow. The trout farmer need not diversify, although this option is open to him. In agri-production language, this is having your bread buttered on both sides!
- Because trout are cold blooded, they do not require energy to maintain body temperature. Their feed conversion ratio is 1.2 to 1 which compares favourably with other farmed animals.
- Applied research in feed development has turned the industry upside down. Trout’s reliance on fish meal has decreased from 60% to less than 6 %!
- Trout is accordingly SASSI Green Listed.