Copper-Alloy Net Trial Update in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

Copper-alloy-net in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

Results from a recent study of copper-alloy and nylon pens installed in Cahora Bassa, a freshwater lake in Mozambique, Africa, indicates that copper-alloy netting is more durable.  The results also indicate that fish growth in the copper-alloy nets is greater than fish-growth in nylon nets.

The Cahora Bassa is a man-made Lake in the Tete Province of Mozambique.  In 2013 two copper-alloy net pens were deployed in Cahora Bassa — three nylon-net pens were deployed at the same time.  Both the copper and nylon pens were stocked with Tilapia.

The Tete Province of Mozambique

The Tete Province of Mozambique

During the study, the copper-alloy and nylon nets were attacked by large crocodiles.  The nylon nets were badly damaged but the copper-alloy nets were intact.   Professor Tom Hecht, director of Advance Africa, a consulting firm that ran the study, submitted a final report on the growth trials in October 2014 concluding:

  • The specific growth rates of the fish in copper-alloy-net pens was significantly greater than the fish in polymer-net pens.
  • The average weight of the fish in the copper-net pens was 245 kg compared to 201.3 kg of the fish in nylon-net pens.

About Dr. Hecht

Dr. Hecht is the founder and head of the department of Ichthyology and fisheries science at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He has more than 35 years of experience in marine and freshwater aquaculture and fisheries

Copper-alloy net pen deployed in Cahora Bassa

Copper-alloy net pen deployed in Cahora Bassa

management in African and the Western Indian Ocean Region. Dr. Hecht has served as an adviser to the International Foundation for Science and past director of the World Aquaculture Society.

Read more about earlier copper-alloy net trials at Cahora Bassa, Mozambique