Wednesday, March 7, 2018

07/03/2018: International Aquafeed visit local trout farm

The team at International Aquafeed magazine went along with some friends to visit the local Bibury Trout Farm based in Bibury, Gloucestershire, a mere half an hour drive from the Perendale offices in Cheltenham.

International Aquafeed team and friends
L-R: Roger Gilbert, Tuti Tan, James Taylor, Martin Smith, Martyna Nobis,
Zasha Whiteway-Wilkinson,  Holger Kühlwein and Darren Parris
 Bibury Trout Farm is one of Britains oldest trout farms having been founded in 1902, by the naturalist Arthur Severn, to stock the local rivers and streams with the native Brown Trout, it now covers 15 acres in a beautiful Vally in the Cotswolds, the Coln Valley. The valley is home of course to the River Coln, and perhaps a lesser known fact, runs very close to the iconic cottages that we brits so often overlook at the beginning of our passports.

 During the visit the team was accompanied by Dr Holger Kühlwein, Key Account Manager Aquaculture at Leiber GmbH, who was visiting the offices after a guest lecture he gave at the University of Plymouth, from which he is an alumni. Interestingly, before his current role at Leiber, Dr Kühlwein spent some time as a trout farmer himself.

 The tour was performed by Mr Martin Smith, who has worked at the farm for five years, although he is this week moving onto a new role in the Water development industry and will be passing his role as Farm Manager over to Mr Robert Waker. 

Outdoor hatchery for broodstock trout
 With a wealth of knowledge the tour started at the very beginning of the trouts life cycle at the farm in the tanks used to house the fertilised eggs before seeing the young fry in their rearing tanks. The tour was moved onto a small room where a cement mixer had been used as a makeshift feed holder, where the tanks where the eggs and sperms were fertilised.

 Although the farm sells the fish commercially, a lot of the fish are being raised as broodstock, and these were housed in a hatchery that held four pools for the fish, two of which were full and breaming with colourful life.

 The farm raises only female trout and the fish that go on to be sold commercially at supermarkets, markets or the farms own self-run shops are housed outside in large fish raceways and stock ponds. The fish that are used for commercial purposes are raised so as not to have a reproductive system, leaving more room in the fish for a fuller meatier flavour.

"10 percent of the trout will be sold commercially."
 Martin Smith explained that, "There are 800,000 trout on the farm on average at any one time, this includes the fry and broodstock. Of that about 90 percent are used for restocking and about 10 percent are sold commercially." 

 As well as the trout farm being open for business in the seafood sector, it is used as a local attraction that is great for families and tourists to the area. Coming in the picturesque bridge takes you over the River Coln and an old watermill on the left. Immediately the centre shows off an impressive gift store with country themed souvenirs, and of course inside there is a fresh fish table filled with ice and delicious fresh fish for purchase.

 With a small children's play area, the possibility to feed the fish and a café serving hot drinks and local produce it really was such a lovely hidden treasure in the Cotswold countryside for both the aquaculture industry and general visitors to the area. Admission prices to the farm are £4.50 for an adult £3.25 for children, £3.75 for senior citizens as well as discounts for families and yearly season tickets. 

Visit their website here and keep an eye out for more pictures and in-depth features over the coming month!

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

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