Fusion Marine pens successfully installed at new Ghanaian fish farm
Fusion Marine has successfully completed the installation of a fish farm in Ghana for tilapia. Production on the farm on the Volta River is envisaged to be in the region of 275 tonnes of fish per year with output expected to increase further in a couple of years time.
The project for Volta Rapids Tilapia Ltd has been in the pipeline for the past three years and required two site visits by fish farm specialists, including Fusion Marine aquaculture consultant Carmelo Agius, to find a suitable location that met the correct environmental criteria.
The chosen location was just downstream from the hydroelectric power Akosombo Dam on a stretch of the river where the flow was judged ideal, thanks in part to the controlling influence of another dam lower down the river at Akuse.
The farm, which employs local fishermen, consists of three Fusion Marine Aquaflex 40m circumference polyethylene pens and two 70m pens. As far is it is known, these latter two pens are the largest currently found on a freshwater site in Africa.
The first young tilapia were stocked at the beginning of October 2010 with a regular input of fingerlings planned to ensure steady production. It is planned to build a commercial hatchery next to the farm in two years time so as to provide an efficient and integrated production chain.
Fusion Marine Project Consultant Professor Carmelo Agius said: “It is
great to see state of the art fish farm pens appearing on a commercial scale in
West Africa. For decades very small and rudimentary cages have been used
up and down this part of Africa; their small size and home made structure make them very laborious and risky to manage. They also entail huge amount of maintenance work.
“The Fusion Marine pens will enable to industry to pitch itself at a different level of operation altogether and catalyse the introduction of modern management strategies in this fledgling industry throughout Africa.”
He added: “There is a good market for tilapia in Ghana and the fish are currently fetching a good price. The marketing prospects also look good for neighbouring countries.”