GIS - June 13, 2012: This first pilot project of cage culture implemented by the Trou D’eau Douce Fishermen Cooperative Society was jointly launched today by the Minister of Fisheries, Mr Nicolas Von-Mally, and the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Jim Seetaram, at Trou d’Eau Douce.
In his speech Minister Von Mally underlined that, in line with government policy to empower the fishermen community and to propose alternative and complementary livelihoods, his Ministry is proceeding with the placing up of floating fish cages on a pilot basis and that the pilot cage culture projects will be undertaken by cooperative societies.
For his part Minister Seetaram appealed to the cooperatives to make the most of the various schemes that have been put in place by his Ministry. These schemes allow entrepreneurs to develop their projects into real businesses, he said.
The first pilot project is being undertaken by Trou d’Eau Douce Fishermen Cooperative Society. The production of fish in cages has been practised for many years in various countries worldwide. The cage aquaculture has grown very rapidly during the past 20 years and in the wake of globalisation and growing demand for aquatic products, this sector is presently undergoing rapid changes.
With the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) has carried out trials to introduce new culture techniques such as floating net cages for fish culture in selected barachois.
The AFRC will assist the cooperative societies by providing technical guidance in the culture of ‘acclimatised’ berri rouge. During the initial phase, AFRC will provide floating cages including nets, fingerlings and feed freely to the cooperative societies.
The cages are being stocked with 4 000 berri rouge fingerlings of average length 5 cm provided by the AFRC. It is expected that around 1.2 tonnes of fish will be harvested after a culture period of 8 to 10 months. Based on the potential success of the project, the floating cage culture will be replicated in other regions.
Each floating structure consists of four net cages, each of size 4x4x4 m of mesh size 10 mm. The Ministry of Fisheries has provided cage materials, fish fingerlings (acclimatised berri rouge), feed for an initial period and technical guidance to the fishermen for the implementation of the project.
The berri rouge were successfully acclimatised to sea water from fresh water at the AFRC. This acclimatisation process will add sale value to the fish. The management, culture and marketing of the berri rouge will be undertaken by the group of fishermen under the supervision of the AFRC and the Fishermen Investment Trust.