SOUTH Staffordshire College students are celebrating after their fish hatchery sales reached the five million mark.
The college’s unique Aquaculture resources, which combine student experience with a commercial business, hit the milestone thanks to sales from the Rodbaston Aquaculture Centre.
The business is located on an idyllic 180-hectare Staffordshire parkland estate which forms the College’s Rodbaston Campus and is home to a wide range of land-based activities.
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 three-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 five million young carp, tench and ornamental fish including Shubunkin, Goldfish and various Koi varieties, for growing-on to major customers across the UK.
He said: “We operate a totally enclosed biosecure site with regular fish health inspections and viral screening from CEFAS.
“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, said: “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 very high and the fishery is fully CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture Science) registered.
Mr Marvin added: “Aquaculture is a fully integrated part of South Staffordshire College and we are a functioning business enterprise with profits to generate and customers to please.”
Tours of the Aquaculture Fish Hatchery at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus are available on request and anyone interested can contact Simon Marvin on either 01785-711063 or 07875302716.