SOUTH Staffordshire College’s unique Aquaculture resources, which combine student experience with a commercial business, has hit a milestone with sales from the Rodbaston Aquaculture Centre reaching the 5 million fish mark.
The business is located on an 180-hectare Staffordshire parkland estate, which forms the College’s Rodbaston Campus and is home to a wide range of land-based activities that will shape the next generation of young farmers and rural entrepreneurs.
Within the Aquaculture fish hatchery, carp production facilities take the process from the development of high quality eggs, with the parent fish kept in the College’s own natural still-water pond, through spawning, larvae-hatch and growth from the fry stage through to a 3-month old fish of about 2” – 3” in size.
While some are retained on site the majority are then moved on to other fish farms or fisheries.
Simon Marvin runs the operation, which has provided over 5 million young carp, tench and ornamental fish – including Shubunkin, Goldfish and various Koi varieties – for growing-on to major customers across the UK.
‘We operate a totally enclosed biosecure site with regular fish health inspections and viral screening from CEFAS,’ explains Marvin. ‘We actively encourage visits to our fish hatchery and this is something which gives our customers a real sense of confidence, when they are looking to buy for their stock ponds.’
Roy Marlow, Owner of Mallory Park Fisheries, is one of those satisfied customers and says: ‘The quality of these fish is outstanding and the appearance of them is stunning. I don’t give out recommendations very often but in the case of Rodbaston I have no hesitation in doing so.’
The high level of biosecurity on the site is one of the major factors in guaranteeing buyers the right quality of stock and very high survival rates, which are paramount in commercial operations.