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Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practised in marine environments. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics, which integrates fish farming and plant farming. Source: Wikipedia

The Fish Farm

Empowering People Network. The fish Farm
Prosperity through community based aquaculture
The Fish Farm is a patented, micro-intensive fish farm designed within the confines of a 12-metre shipping container, delivering 2–4 tons of tilapia (or other species) annually. By placing a series of tanks, filters and pumps inside a container, the product immediately delivers a profitable, affordable, transportable and replicable aquaculture business into poor urban or rural communities.The Prototype comprises 6 tanks (in a row) of 1,500 liters each, a 200 liters solids filter (to deal with the solid waste) and a 5,000 liters bio-filter (to deal with the chemical waste), a circulation pump and an aerator. The Fish Farm dumps 1% of its volume per day to maintain water quality. A fish farmer would be able to supply this fertilized water to the vegetable farmers. The required space for the Fish-Farm is minimal. The energy for its operation can be obtained by solar power. The Fish Farm is a simple and environmentally compatible way of ensuring food security, creating jobs and making profits.

Where can I learn?

aquaculture photo

Introduction to Aquaculture – ARC
Basic understanding and knowledge on the overall view of the aquaculture sector, how to start aquaculture venture, the overall needs for fish to be alive and be profitable, opportunities and challenges

Training in aquaculture.
We offer several Aquaculture & Aquaponics Courses:

  • 2-day Aquaculture System Management Course
  • 9-day Practical Fish Farmer Course
  • 1-day Commercial Aquaponics Course

We also run dedicated Courses for clients on specific topics, with or without SETA accreditation.  For example, we have been approached to run a Water Quality Course with SETA accreditation.  Let us know what your needs are and we will see how we can assist you. Please note that all Courses are offered on condition that a minimum of 4 delegates must be secured, otherwise the Course may be postponed.

Aquaculture Distance Education Programme
Since 2001 the University of Stellenbosch has presented an Aquaculture Education Programme in a Distance Education format. (Information is given in pdf format)
Associations and Organisations


We suggest you first have a look at the listings found on AssociationFinder.


Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa – AASA
The Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa (AASA) was established in the late 1980′s in order to represent the interest of the then fledgling aquaculture industry in Southern Africa. The Association has since developed into a structure with representation from the various sectors contributing towards the aquaculture industry of the region, including marine species such as oysters, mussels, abalone and prawns; freshwater species such as trout, catfish, tilapia, ornamental fishes; as well as service providers such as feed companies, equipment suppliers and veterinary services.

ECDC aquaculture & fisheries sector specialist
– Tel: 043-704-5606 | E-mail:

Abalone Farmers Association of South Africa
– Tel: 021-402-9200

Mariculture Association of Southern Africa
– Tel: 021-650-2681

SA Deep Sea Trawling Industry Association
– Tel: 021-425-2727

SA Inshore Fishing Industry Association
– Tel: 021-425-2727

SA Linefish Management Industrial Association
– Tel: 021-790-4083


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ARC – Aquaculture division
The aquaculture programme of the ARC-Institute for Agricultural Engineering (ARC-ILI) has since 1990 given particular attention to aquaculture engineering. The priorities of the program are the research and development of production systems. For viability, the economy of the systems as well as the comfort and welfare of the organisms are taken into consideration, so that the system is adapted to the organisms and not the organisms to the system.

Introduction of aquaculture as a farming system to communities – ARC
An aquaculture demonstration site is operated by ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij as well as the aquaculture unit of the University of Stellenbosch. Forelle and Tilapia fish are kept in floating cages and the site demonstrates how farm workers and small-scale farmers can utilise a dam to produce an extra income. This concept was introduced to a community in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape and it is currently being evaluated together with the community.

Aquaculture in Southern Africa
Aquaculture is growing steadily in Southern Africa and this address seeks to link all the various parties involved under a single umbrella. Prospective aquaculturalists are offered an opportunity to obtain specific, detailed information on various aspects of aquaculture pertinent to the Southern African sub-region.

Aquaculture and fisheries in the Eastern Cape
Opportunities available in the Eastern Cape.

Investment opportunities in Aquaculture and fisheries in the Eastern Cape
Mariculture, inland (freshwater) aquaculture and fisheries in the Eastern Cape.

Legal guidelines and best management practice
Policies & Regulations
1. Best management practise for aquaculture in the Eastern Cape.
2. Guidelines for authorisation for aquaculture projects.
3. Marine aquaculture policy.
4. DTI sector study

A profile of the South African aquaculture market value chain 2012
Publication of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, South Africa. Downloadable pdf document.

World Wildlife Fund on Aquaculture


Thedti – Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP)
The Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP) is an incentive programme available to South African registered entities engaged in primary, secondary and ancillary aquaculture activities in both marine and freshwater classified under SIC 132 (fish hatcheries and fish farms) and SIC 301 and 3012 (production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish). The grant is provided directly to approved applications for new, upgrading or expansion projects.The programme offers a reimbursable cost-sharing grant of up to a maximum of R40 million qualifying costs in machinery and equipment; bulk infrastructure; owned land and/or buildings; leasehold improvements; and competitiveness improvement activities as outlined in section 8 of the ADEP guidelines. 

Photo by Bytemarks

Photo by doegox

Photo by Virginia Sea Grant