KATSE
FISH FARMS

THE FORECAST

OUR STORY

In the pristine waters of the Katse Dam in the Highlands of Lesotho, our magical project was born in 2006.

The Lesotho Highlands is suited for Rainbow trout production due to the summer rainfall which cools the water temperatures, making it ideal for trout production all-year round.

After due diligence and careful environmental impact assessments were concluded the modern trout farming operation was started with passion and involvement of skilled aquaculturists, investors and the local Ha Lejone village members.
Lesotho governing bodies implemented rigorous environmental and social economic projects. As a result, a portion of all sales is donated to the community in the form of a production Levy.
To date, Katse Fish Farms has completed water and electricity supply projects to the local communities to the value of R1 Million Rand. These projects comply with all government regulations.

This Highlands Aquaculture Initiative is destined to become the largest trout farm on the African continent. The Three Streams Hatchery imports trout eggs from certified disease free stock every two months. Vaccinated fingerlings from the hatches are transported to Katse, where they begin their cycle in nursery pens.

Katse Fish Farms is based in the upper 14km’s of the Katse Dam. Stretching from the Malibiamatso River inlet to the water abstraction tower that feeds water from the Katse reservoir to the Ash River in South Africa. Due to this positioning, we have good water movement throughout our farming area.

Water is one of Lesotho’s largest exports and is therefore extremely well preserved. The water temperature is good for trout farming for the majority of the year due to the high altitude (2200m above sea level). We do monthly quality and sediment tests to ensure that the farming activities are not affecting the quality of the water.

When the truck, filled will fingerlings, arrive at Katse Fish Farms, the dam water is slowly pumped into each tank to acclimate the fish. Katse Fish Farms water-based team consist of 14 people.

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The feeding schedules are based on oxygen levels and fish feed response. We use a combination of hand and mechanical feeding to monitor the feed response more efficiently. The growing period from receipt of fingerlings to harvest is 12-14 months. The total production life cycle from egg to harvest is between 15-17 months.

 

HARVESTING

Katse has a continuous production schedule, allowing us to supply the freshest, best tasting trout to the South African Market on a weekly basis.  

Harvest forcasts are updated regularly based on market trend.  Katse Fish Farms produces 600 to 800 tons per annum with a licence to expand to 1200 tons oer annum.

We endeavour to harvest weekly, 50 weeks of the year. 

Quality is at the forefront of everything we do.  A state of the art harvest line is used to ensure only the best quality trout destined for the market.  Our harvest technique incorporates global standards with regards to animal welfare, humane slaughter and flesh quality.

Once the fish have been harvested, they are transferred from harvest tanks into transport tanks where they are well iced and then transported in our refrigerated trucks to Three Streams Smokehouse.

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WHY FISH FARMING; AQUACULTURE, GLOBAL TRENDS, AFRICA AND KATSE?

Global fish consumption has increased five-fold in the last five decades, resulting in aquaculture now being the fastest growing sustainable food production sector in the world.

Global sales are estimated at $80 billion. This demand for fish cannot be met by natural fisheries and therefore the expansion of aquaculture is inevitable.

The Aquaculture sector has set itself apart in global food production, due to its continued innovation and the lead role it plays as major component of the future green economy.

Africa has superb natural and human resources, but the participation of Africa in the global aquaculture sector is lacking.

The Katse project in the Lesotho Highlands can become a regional leader in aquaculture.

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ROYALE HIGHLANDS TROUT

Rainbow trout ova is imported and hatched in the clear streams of the Franschhoek Mountains.

Pre-vaccinated fingerlings from these hatches are transported to Katse, where they begin their cycle in nursery pens. These ideal conditions in the Katse Dam result in the best quality farmed fish that are strong, lean, healthy and delicious.

The remote location and extreme weather conditions does prove to be very challenging at times but the benefits make the effort worthwhile.

Respecting the environment is one of our core beliefs, there is never a dull day on the fish farm, come rain, snow or sunshine.

Heavy rains during the summer months means that our trout are well exercised, lean and healthy. This leads to a firm fleshed fish.

In autumn and winter the weather can be very severe, with ice and snow covering the mountains and farm. Occasionally the farm and village are cut off from the outside world.

In Spring, as the water temperatures rise, the trout’s appetite increases. This means good growth into summer, when water temperatures are ideal for trout rearing.