Fish culture development training course (Africa) 2019

The inserted photo was taken on July 15, the first technical day of the “Fish Culture Development – Africa” training course for 2019. This 3-month course is annually organized since 2004 and jointly supported by the Egyptian International Centre for Agriculture – EICA” and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The course this year hosts 14 participants as three participants are expected to join the program in the next few days. It is always a pleasure to contribute to these courses and meet such wonderful group of African friends. The photo shows Dr. Abdel Rahman El Gamal and the course participants:

Souleymane BA and Richard Kima (Burkina Faso), Karerwa Odette and Baseka Michel (Burundi), Hantanirina Rasoamananjara and Adavelo Jean Marcel (Madagascar), Madalitso Magombo and Camerson Ghambi (Malawi), Mussa George mndeme (Tanzania), Poukre Tchawre and Treku Komla Asafo (Togo).

Note: Please note that my contribution to the EICA courses is just teaching and supervising group projects and specific workshops. In other words, I am not the one to be asked about participation procedures in EICA courses. Whoever is interested is advised to visit the EICA website:


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Biofloc technology in red tilapia culture in Colombia (Video)

Video credit: Marleyi Acuna Torres (Colombia) Description:  Marleyi Acuna Torres and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)

The video was filmed in a red tilapia farm which uses biofloc technology. The farm is located in Zulia Notre de Santander (Colombia). The farm receives its water from a rain water reservoir. The management of this particular farm adopts three phases (fry, growing and fattening). The whole cycle is 6 months. In the first phase, red tilapia fingerlings are stocked in circular tanks of 12-m diameter and 120 m3 of water volume. The stocking density in this phase is 100 fingerlings/m2. As the average size of the stocked fish reach 150 g, they are passed to larger tanks of 15-m diameter with 1.2 m depth and a volume of 200 m3. The stocking density during this fattening phase is 60 fish/m2. The aeration is performed by blower/diffuser system. This system has neither water circulation nor filtration except the removal of excess solids through sedimentation tank. As expected, the biofloc technology plays an important role in enhancing the system productivity as well as in the reduction of commercial feed. In this particular farm, the average feed conversion is 1.3 feed: 1 fish. The farm has monthly production of 4 tons of red tilapia with an average size of 350 g.

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Spawning of imported whiteleg shrimp in a biosecure facility in Egypt

Photos credit: Sherif Sadek (Egypt). Description: Sherif Sadek and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, being the newest introduced shrimp species in Egypt is considered a promising candidate towards the development of shrimp aquaculture in the country based on its high productive traits. In order to minimize the risk of possible spread of diseases, and as shown in the attached pictures, certified disease-free broodstock have been imported from a reputable hatchery located in Hawaii, USA. The introduced shrimp are currently reproduced in a special hatchery that has undergone specific protocols turning it to a bio-secure facility. The facility is located in the area of Ismailia (Egypt). It may worth noting that the overall duration of the trip took 2 days and 10 hours covering the road and air transport from the source hatchery in USA till the arrival at the designated hatchery in Egypt.

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Introducing solar energy in Egyptian aquaculture

Photos’ credit: Sherif Sadek (Egypt) Description: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted photos are taken in a shrimp farm located in Port Said area (Egypt). The use of solar energy in aquaculture in Egypt has been always considered especially when considering the increasing cost of fuel as well as the maintenance cost of pumps run by diesel. The initial cost of solar energy which is somehow high is high and this might slowed down the spread of solar energy in aquaculture. However, it expected that the mass production of solar panels as well as the rest of system components could economically justify the use of solar energy in fish farm especially in shrimp farms considering the high market price of shrimp. For the sake of this post, the large pump is of 25 HP with a water discharge capacity of 400 m3/hour, while the smaller 10-HP pump discharges 30 m3 of water/hour.

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Display of tarpon in a fish market (La Paz – Bolivia)

Photo credit: Andres Loayza Apaza (Bolivia) –  Review: Andres Loayza Apaza and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted photo shows the display and sale of tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) in the popular market town of La Paz, the administrative capitalof Bolivia. The displayed tarpon is fished in the Pilcomayo River and moved over a long distance to some regions such as La Paz where it is most consumed. A part of displayed tarpon may be imported from Argentina.

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Indigenous knowledge: Use of green mint and basil for keeping fish freshness in open markets

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Like many people I used to see green plants below fish displays. Frankly speaking, I never paid attention to the type of such plants thinking that it serves as a cushion preventing displayed fish from possible skin abrasion. Only last month (April 2019), I asked several fish displayers and got to know that the green plants are either mint or basil and the main purpose is to keep the flying insects out of the display. This practice has been transferred over generations. In order to investigate this matter and try to find the scientific base for such practice, it becomes obvious that such plants are natural insect repellent and are found effective and economical in keeping mosquitoes, ants, and flies out. Afterwards, I went to my photo collections and discovered that using green mint or basil is a common practice whenever fish was transferred or displayed in open systems.

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Line fishing with artificial lures in the catch of Narrow barred Spanish mackerel from the Red Sea -Egypt) – Video

Video credit: Hassan Mohamed Hassan (Egypt) – Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)

The narrow barred Spanish mackerel known in Egypt as “Darak” is a precious species that enjoys a high market value especially this species has been listed as “Near threatened” according to the IUCN Red list. In this particular video whereas the catch was done from Ras Shukeir (Red Sea – Egypt), the boat used is a small one of 12-m length. The method used is a long line and artificial lures of the preferred color to the fish. The weight of the specimen caught is between 18 to 22 kg while the normal depth upon catch ranges from 40 to 80 meters.

Because of their sharp teeth, extreme care has to be taken upon the handling the caught fish by the fisherman.

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Indigenous knowledge: Lake sand and fish freshness (Nyumba ya mengi Lake) Tanzania

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

During my visit to Mbuyuni fish market (Kilimanjaro) during September 2018, I noticed in some fish containers that sand is spread among displayed fish biomass. I have been told by the fish trader that Nyumba ya Mengi Lake which is not far from the market is the source of the displayed fish. In regard to the sand, I have been told that having the lake sand within the fish keeps the freshness of fish catch for up to 6 hours and because of the short distance between the lake and the fish market, fish icing is not considered.

Note: My personal opinion is to respect the indigenous knowledge inherited from a generation to another although some of the practices are out of the scope of scientific research.

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The heavily-fished Nile perch today was regarded a sacred fish in old Egypt

Museum photo credit: Marx Perfecto C. Garcia (Philippines) –   Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

One of the photos was taken in the National Museum (Egypt). The second photo was taken in the landing site (Aswan – Egypt)

It may of interest to know that the Nile perch which is currently considered a premium freshwater fish and contributes significantly to fish exports of several African countries was a sacred species in old Egypt. According to the National Museum labeling and “Our Egypt” portal regarding Nile perch, the species during the Graeco- Roman Period was eaten throughout Egypt except in Esna whereas the species was regarded as sacred and presumably not eaten. In fact, the Greek called the town Latopolis after the Nile perch (Lates niloticus). The species revered as it seems to be the embodiment of the goddess Neith and buried in extensive cemeteries.

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Aquaponics in Namibia

Photos credit: Kaulo Salushando (Namibia) – Review: Kaulo Salushando and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted pictures were taken in aquaponics project in Namibia. The project is located in Groot Aub, Khomas Region, Namibia. This project is suited inside a greenhouse. As shown inside the greenhouse, the fish pond is located under the bed of rocks where vegetable species are grown.

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