Rundu Fish Farm Flooded

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Flooding resulting from heavy rains at Karovo Fish Farm at Rundu has delayed the production cycle at the farm, says Chief Fisheries Research Technician Christopher Munwela. Last week, three breeding fishponds filled with rainwater and in the process some breeders and fingerlings were swept away into the evaporation pond. According to Munwela, smaller fries together with the breeders are currently mixed up in the evaporation pond and that disturbs the breeding process as the pond is also filled beyond capacity. In all the three 500-square metre fishponds, there were in total 150 male and 450 female fish. In terms of the ratio, in every pond there must be three female fish to one male fish. With the flooding, the fish is not separated to meet the right ratio. The harvest of fingerlings occurs every week but considering the problem of flooding, the process has to wait until the situation has normalised. Munwela told New Era that everything would stabilise at least by next week. “We are concentrating on removing excess water and restock the right ratio in the ponds,” he enthused. Fingerlings were supposed to have been stocked up in production ponds. This is where they are kept and fed before they reach a marketable size, which ranges between 250 and 300 grams. In an effort to normalise the situation, a channel was dug to slowly drain excess water from the evaporation pond, an exercise Munwela describes as costly as it involves the pumping out of water using a centrifuge. Though he could not reveal any figures, the official feels the centrifugal pump uses petrol and the cost could only be known at the end of the exercise. Though there is temporary disturbance in production, Munwela says they expect bigger production than last year as the fish has now adapted to the culture. “We are expecting huge profits if we work carefully. We just hope that no disaster comes again,” he stated. The farm specialises in Tilapia breeding and fish is sold to local people, a business the Chief Fisheries Research Technician describes as profitable.

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