German technology for high-tech fish farming

A German high-tech turn-key system aimed at large scale commercial fish farming is now available in Africa.
/~Fishtechnique South Africa, under licence from Fischtechnik Germany, is offering complete aquaculture operations (including farm management and product value-adding) suitable to most fish species as well as prawns, abalone and sturgeon.
The company also wants to introduce the species Silurus glanis, commonly known as Wels catfish or European catfish to African producers. It is Europe’s largest freshwater fish and is only one of two catfish indigenous to Europe. Following breeding refinement of the species at the French National Institute for Aquaculture, its farmability has greatly been improved, according to Fishtechnique South Africa’s general manager, Peter Grossman.
He says the fish grows up to 7kg in one year and produces 50% of usuable meat (most other fishes produce a maximum of 40%). The fish is almost boneless and has "snow white"  meat, which remains firm during cooking. Its feed/meat conversion ratio is 1.1 to 1.2 feed per 1kg of fish meat.
The first two South African projects are being planned, in Limpopo, and Gauteng provinces. Environmental impact assessments still have to be done. Permission to import  Wels catfish triploid fingerlings from France to South Africa is pending, according to Grossman.
Fishtechnique’s system is for capital-intensive, export-oriented projects only. Minimum funding required is around $14m, for a basic 1,000t/year operation.
The company’s closed re-circulation system is provided. It offers many advantages such as:
*    Independence of location and environmental conditions. Being housed in membrane tanks or fibreglass tanks, the fish are protected from pollution, adverse temperature and natural enemies. Conversely, the environment is protected from the exotic species. The company claims that latest filter techniques to treat sewage water allow intensive production even under the strictest environmental conditions.
*    A 1,000t/year operation needs only 400 cu metres of fresh water per day; other systems need up to 100,000 cu metres of fresh water per day, according to Grossman. Fishtechnique uses borehole water, as surface water in South Africa is polluted.
*    Elaborate waste water treatment and downstream use of sludge for agriculture or hydroponics.
*    Computer-monitored and controlled feeding and farm management.
*    Continuous harvesting and homogenous quality.
*    On-farm value-adding facilities such as deep-freezing, canning, jarring and the preparation of pre-cooked meals.
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