We have moved - but just up the street to 38 Chapel Street and our new hours are

Monday 0930 to 1730
Friday 0930 to 1730
Saturday 0930 to 1230

We are available for consultation and site visits at these times- other times by appointment by email (robin@soladome.com.au)

After 35 years at 44 Chapel Street it was time for a change to a web based operation and to offer guidance based on many years of practical experience.

 

 

Pilot Aquaculture

A pilot scheme is a small version of your full scale aquaculture venture and is in the nature of a proving trial to test the assumptions you have made in your major plan.

A pilot scheme is a small version of your full scale aquaculture venture and is in the nature of a proving trial to test the assumptions you have made in your major plan.

A pilot is not just starting with a few animals and hoping to expand the operation as you go. Aquaculture unfortunately is not quite like starting with a bit of spare land and a few chooks and expecting to build up to full scale production over time.

Aquaculture to be successful requires a major commitment of time and money and economies of scale in order to compete with the established producers and the wild caught animals.

There are of course niche markets everywhere but a cautious person would proceed with care if pinning their future on a niche market.

A pilot scheme might seek to verify the time taken for the animals to grow to market size at the planned stocking densities, or to check the operating costs of the pumping and filtration system. A niche market could be tested on a small scale.

Generally a pilot scheme would be about a tenth of the proposed farm size so if you were planning a 50 tonne fish farm you would would set up to grow 5 tonnes to test the proposed equipment and your assumptions. Before setting up a 5 tonne system it would be sound management to set up a 500 kg system to get a feel for your proposed aquaculture venture.

If the pilot demonstrates that your original assumptions were incorrect then you have a chance to test and see if the overall project will work. At least you may have saved yourself a major financial disaster from using assumptions that would have been proven to be incorrect!

The time taken for the animals to grow to market size, the food required, the costs of pumping and heating/cooling, the labour required for husbandry and marketing all need to be checked at this pilot stage.

Various energy saving devices such as efficient insulation to tank bases and walls and sheds can be tested.

There is a fair bit of learning to get under your belt as well as new skills to acquire. Most ventures can take three to five years of trials and tribulations before full scale regular production is up and running !!!