On Friday 16 March Union High’s Eco Club visited Karoo Catch to learn more about food security. What they learned at Karoo Catch really made sense to them. This Aqua Culture and Fish Processing business is unique to the Eastern Cape and will serve as the model flagship for more such enterprises.
At Karoo Catch the female fish (Clarias gariepinus) are artificially inseminated. The offspring are nurtured from birth to the fully grown stage, which takes approximately 6 months. This is a tough freshwater fish commonly found in the area. It is an excellent source of affordable protein. It does not have a traditional fish flavour which allows one to flavour the minced product. The group sampled their pork and lemon flavoured sausage which was delicious.
The farm plant has 5 breeding tunnels at present and re-uses the water after it has been through a filtration process. During the cleaning process, even the fish faeces is re-used as it is extracted and serves as excellent compost for their vegetable gardens. The farm plant boasts the use of solar panels combined with Municipal power. The fish do not ingest polluted products found mainly in our rivers and dams.
Presently this food security business provides employment for 106 permanent staff, most of whom also share in its profits. A large processing factory is in the planning stages and when completed this will create many more employment opportunities for the region. The Eco Club thanks Trudi Bezuidenhout and all the staff of Karoo Catch for the site visit and educating them about this sustainable protein food business. Thanks also go to Rosemary Scheepers from SANParks who drove and accompanied the group on this exciting outing.