The demand for protein rich food has been growing in South Africa as the direct result of population and economic growth. Fish is known to be an efficient source of protein and has the potential to serve the growing demand for protein sources. Currently, most fish cultivation in South Africa is taking place on small-scale, extensive farms that have low levels of efficiency and productivity. The utilization of fish feed within these small-scale systems is high in costs and very inefficient.
Cultivation of fish in more intensive aquaculture systems like RAS (recirculated aquaculture system), however, offers several benefits in terms of productivity, quality and cost-efficiency. Holland Aqua was approached by North-West University (Potchefstroom, Johannesburg) and South-African mining company AngloGoldAshanti to assist them in the development of an RAS aquaculture system fitted to the South African context.
AngloGoldAshanti (AGA), one of the largest mining companies in South Africa, has the ambition to diversify and expand its activities by investing in (local) aquaculture. By developing a large-scale intensive RAS tilapia farm, AGA is looking to respond to the growing demand for cultivated fish. The tilapia produced in the facility could be used for consumption by the 10.000 AGA employees that are currently working in the mining industry. The end products of the facility will meet the requirements for export to international markets. Moreover, water and energy that result from the mining activities can be utilized as resources for the fish farm facility. Overall, the operations of AGA would be expanded and become more productive.
By conducting a thorough feasibility study with involvement of all parties, the technical, commercial and operational feasibility of the envisioned facility has been assessed. Based on the findings, a business plan and farm design have been developed, serving AGA to make a well informed decision on the investments needed for the realization of their aquaculture facility.