Aqua Startup

Manual Small-scale Trout Farmers

Manual Rural Freshwater Aquaculture

Best management practices, legal compliance, sustainability and responsible growth of the aquaculture sector all depend on comprehensive and integrated planning around resources, social matters, environmental aspects, technical matters, markets and economics. For this reason, good planning in aquaculture is critical towards ensuring success and sustainability. Such planning should be based on a feedback process in which designs, plans, strategies, operations, economics and processes are continuously tested against the applicable resource, social and environmental matters so that any concept can be modified to best achieve success.

Just like any other business venture, aquaculture requires a detailed and realistic feasibility study before initiation. The development of aquaculture activities must not be based on a perception of aquaculture being an appealing lifestyle choice.

To support prospective aquaculturists, a basic checklist has been compiled that can be used to initiate planning of new aquaculture venture. This self guided primer for prospective aquaculturists only covers the basic drivers of a successful aquaculture practice and it will be necessary for further research into the viability of any new venture.

Basic checklist of aspects for the planning of a sustainable aquaculture venture:

Aspect to be considered Questions to be asked
Choice of a Species
  • Is the species indigenous, exotic or extra-limital?
  • If exotic, does the species occur in the area?
  • Is the species suited to the conditions and climate?
  • Are the rearing, biology and husbandry techniques for the species known?
  • Have the various approaches to production of the species been investigated?
  • Does the design of the facilities suite the species?
  • Is feed readily available for the species?
  • What are the market prospects for the species?
  • Will the chosen species be spawned on site and if not, are sources of juveniles available?
Choice of a Site
  • Does the project conform to regional development objectives and is the site correctly zoned?
  • Can legal access be gained to the site?
  • Does the site have adequate water resources that can be accessed legally?
  • Is the site physically accessible?
  • What services (electricity, water, roads, sewage and refuse) are required?
  • What infrastructure is required?
  • What is the surrounding land use and how will this influence the project?
  • What is the environmental sensitivity of the area?
  • Have floods, tides, winds and other forces of nature been considered?
  • Has aquaculture effluent discharge been considered?
  • What will the influence of the project be on its neighbors?
General Feasibility
  • Has a feasibility analysis and business plan been done for the project?
  • Is the project financed and has provision been made for capital reserves?
  • Is the required technology available?
  • Are the required human resources and skills available?
  • Are the required support services in place and have the logistical needs been considered?
  • Have water, species and feed resources been considered in detail?
  • Have social matters been addressed. Is the project acceptable to neighbors and local communities?
Market Analysis
  • Have the markets been identified and secured?
  • Has market timing, seasonality, needs and price been research?
  • Is the market size and demand known?
  • Can the quality demand of the market be matched or bettered?
  • In what form should the product be presented in the market?
  • Is the market competition known?
  • Have market logistics (handling, freezing etc.) been considered?
  • Have the phyto-sanitary and other legal requirements been addressed?
Authorizations and Legal Matters
  • Does the project require approval in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (EIA)?
  • Does the water use for the project require authorization?
  • Are any marine aquaculture permits required?
  • Are any transport permits for aquaculture organisms required?
  • Are veterinary permits for import and export of organisms required?
  • Are any authorizations required from the Local Authorities?

Prepared by AQUAECO – etienne@aquaeco.co.za