In 2012 we launched our newest venture, a fish farm that allows us to pursue integrated farming methods by using the water from the ponds onto our existing drip irrigation vegetable garden that provides fresh produce to our kitchen. We are rearing the Amazonian Tambaqui that is both appropriate to the environment and also allows guests to fish for their meals. Fingerlings for the ponds were introduced to the newly dug ponds in May of 2012 and in the first month the fish seem to be doing very well.
Tambaqui, the largest of all the characins, are creatures of the Amazon’s flooded forest. Members of the sub-family Colossoma of the Characidae, tambaqui (Colossoma macroponum) are oval-shaped, physically built like a stocky permit or jack. They have a golden to olive green back and an inky purple to black ventral area. An omnivorous characid relative of the piranha, tambaqui have dazzling teeth that look eerily like a set of human dentures. These fish have amazing jaw strength as they often feed on rock hard jungle seeds. Tambaqui can get huge. Specimens of 3 feet in length and weighing in at over 70 pounds are not exceptional. The tambaqui feeds on zooplankton, insects, snails, and decaying plants. Research has indicated the species plays an important role in dispersing seeds from fruits.
We expect mature fish to be ready for harvest in early 2013 and eagerly invite anglers and families to join us then to participate in the Rupununi’s newest project in sustainable aquaculture. A successful harvest will potentially lay the groundwork for satellite projects owned and operated by local villages, providing another sustainable economic development alternative to logging, mining, or poaching.