NKURENKURU – Fish harvesting at the Mpungu fish farm on Saturday saw Nkurenkuru residents and nearby villagers flocking in numbers to buy fresh tilapia. The fish is considered healthy, as it is laden with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for the human body and brain.
Mpungu Cooperative Fish Farm is situated in Nkurenkuru, where freshwater aquaculture is carried out in several fish ponds. “Kavango West region is one of the most suitable for freshwater aquaculture in Namibia,” said the executive director in the ministry of fisheries, Moses Maurihungirire, during the momentous fish-harvesting occasion at the weekend.
Maurihungirire noted the event of harvesting fish at the cooperative fish farm demonstrated that fish farming in Namibia is possible, practical and can be done in an economically viable way. “Today, you will see aquaculture in practice. I believe this will inspire you to start farming with fish,” he said. The fish farm has six plastic-lined production ponds and eight earthen ponds. “We will harvest and sell today over two tons of fish for the 16 cooperative members at Mpungu. The current market value of this tastiest Kavango bream is around N$60 per kilogramme,” he said.
The executive director further stated the fisheries ministry takes aquaculture and inland fisheries research serious, as evident from the numerous continuous scientific publications on inland fisheries from their research team. “Our biggest constraint with freshwater fish farming in Namibia is our sub-tropical climate resulting in four separate seasons with five cold months. This is hampering year-round freshwater aquaculture production, as we only have seven months with optimum temperatures of 26 °C and over for fish to grow,” he said.
“My professional research staff developed climate-adaptive fish farm management plans to manage breeding and grow-out within the constraints of our climate. Research is also conducted to improve the viability of fish production.”
According to Maurihungirire, recent research growth trails at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute (KIFI) at Divundu indicated an increase in body weight for three-spot tilapia from 250 gram per fish for mixed-sex tilapia to 446 gram per fish for all-male tilapia over a seven-month growth period, which constitutes a production increase of 178%.
Research is also being conducted on improved catfish production with an increased stocking and massive potential for profit. Catfish is air-breathing fish suitable for dense stocking, unlike tilapia that can only be stocked at five fish per cubic meter in open pond conditions with limited water replacement.
2020-03-02 07:31:51 | 4 months ago