The fieldtrip, supervised by Martin Davies, started off with 12 excited honours students making their way to the Western Cape. The aim of this fieldtrip was to expose the honours students to aquaculture and the many ways in which, as well as the many reasons why, fish are “farmed”.
The first stop was Bonnievale: here triploidy grass carp are bred and grown out to be sold as biocontrol agents which are unable to breed. This semi-intensive farming technique was just a taste of all that was to come and proved to be very interesting.
In Hermanus, the next stop, a number of abalone farms were visited. While the end product may appeal to the same market, the methods employed to reach the target varied from farm to farm. It was interesting to see the different approaches as well as being provoked to formulate opinions on advantages and disadvantages of each system.
From Hermanus we left for Saldhana where we visited Sea Harvest. Although not strictly aquaculture, it was interesting to see commercial fisheries at work. We then visited an oyster operation and took a trip to a mussel raft.
In Paternoster we visited a kob farm, which appeals to local markets and makes use of recycled and reuse water. The last two visits were both to trout farms - one in Franschoek and the other in Jonkershoek. At Three Streams we were also fortunate enough to visit the packaging facilities on site. The farm in Jonkershoek made use of cage culture and this different, less intensive take on farming proved to be very interesting.
While the long trip home saw many students catching up on much needed rest, it also provided the opportunity to reflect on all that was seen and learnt. It was an incredibly insightful fieldtrip. Many thanks to Martin, as well as all our hosts, a lot of knowledge was gained.Source: DIFS
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