INTRODUCTION: Giant freshwater prawns are about to go on sale in Salisbury, following a new project in Zimbabwe.
LAKE KARIBA, ZIMBABWE(VISNEWS - CHRIS EVERSON)
GV Kapenta boats preparing for night fishing with boat leaving (5 shots)
SV Women sorting Kapenta for drying (2 shots)
CU SV fish drying on racks (2 shots)
GV PAN Prawn hatchery at Kariba lakeside
SV PAN INTERIOR Breeding tanks with workers (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Breeding lakes with workers fishing (2 shots)
SV/CU Freshwater prawns being caught (2 shots)
CU Big prawn in the hand
Background: INTRODUCTION: Giant freshwater prawns are about to go on sale in Salisbury, following a new project in Zimbabwe. Breeding stock of the giant Malaysian prawn have been imported and are hatching at the rate of 250,000 a month in the warm waters of Lake Kariba on the Zambezi river system.
SYNOPSIS: Lake Kariba already has a successful fishing industry. In 1967 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation introduced Kapenta to these waters and within six months they were being hauled up by the tonne. The Kapenta is a fresh water relative of the sardine and has been an important source of protein for centuries. There are about a thousand of the tiny fish to the kilogram (approximately two pounds) and it has provided a livelihood for fishermen on both the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides of the lake.
Initially, the fish were frozen, but this proved to be a costly operation. A more simple process is now employed by small commercial operators. The catch is immersed in brine tanks on the fishing boats for around 15 minutes, then stored in baskets. On returning to harbour the fish are sorted then spread onto racks and sun dried for up to 48 hours.
A large investment and a lot of scientific research has gone into the introduction of giant prawns to Lake Kariba. After being taken from the hatchery, the prawns are kept in concrete tanks for 24 hours. This ensures no food remnants are left in the stomach and obviates the need to remove the black vein or gut. They are then killed in icy water, washed and hand sorted before bring frozen and packed. The whole process takes less than 30-minutes which ensures the prawns are fresh and without contamination.
The total production target is 30 tonnes a year which will provide a continuous supply for the Salisbury market...much to the delight of Zimbabweans.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The giant prawns are dur to go on sale in Salisbury by November. They are already available in Kariba.
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