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The Czech Fish Farmers Association welcomes you to the web site of the Bohemian and Moravian fish farming.

The Czech Fish Farmers Association was founded in 1991 as a successor of a pre-war tradition of the Czechoslovak Central Association of Fish Farmers. Its task is to keep and strengthen a position of highly professional and well prosperous Czech fish farming including its environmental connections and out-of-production social functions of fish-ponds. The Czech Fish Farmers Association represents and asserts the interests of both its members and all the Czech fish farming in local agriculture and food bodies, it is a long-term member of the Federation of the European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP), it has a connection even to the other European fish farmers associations. Under a title Rybníkářství (Fish-Pond Farming), it publishes the own periodical, and has its own trade mark Český kapr (The Czech Carp). In the beginning of 2012, the Czech Fish Farmers Association has 70 members representing the decisive fish farms including the research / educational bodies and two national anglers unions. Ing. Jan Hůda, Ph.D. Director General of the Třeboň Fish Farm (the largest one in the Czech Republic), is the president of the Czech Fish Farmers Association (who is voted for a period of three years), and Mgr. Michal Kratochvíl is the Executive Director of the Association.

 

Commercially important farmed fish species

There are over 60 fish species in the waters of the Czech Republic. About one fourth of them belongs to the commercially important species. They are the following ones: bighead, brook trout, carp, eel, European catfish, European whitefish, grass carp, northern whitefish, perch, pike, pikeperch, rainbow trout, silver carp, and tench.The basic biological, environmental and commercial characteristics of these fish species are presented.

 

Fish production and fish market in the Czech Republic

There were about 10 thousand hectares of ponds on a territory of the present-day Czech Republic at the end of the 13th century. Around 1585 (in a period of the Golden Age of the Bohemian fish-pond farming), this area increased to 180 thousand hectares. Later on, about 1840, the pond area decreased to approximately 35 thousand hectares. At present, there are about 43 thousand hecaters of ponds which are utilized for fish farming. From point of view of production, between 200 and 300 tonnes of market-size fish were produced annually by the end of the 13th century (carp and pike in relatively balanced ratio). In the beginning of the 20th century, appproximately 2500 tonnes of fish (mainly carp) were farmed annually. At present, about 20 thousand tonnes of market-size fish (carp represents 85 %) is produced annually. Production is sold at both domestic and export market (in ratio of 1:1). Live fish dominates on both markets, only 10 % of all market-size fish is processed.

 

Fish farming in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, production of fish is well balanced with resources capability and reality of both domestic and export fish market. In domestic market, about 65 % of carp is sold in connection with Christmas, and fish of age between 3 and 4 years and weight from 2.5 to 3 kg is the most requested one. Industry is ready to increase a volume of processed fish (all the Czech decisive processing plants have an EU certificate). Out-of-production effects affecting the fish farming (runoffs of soil particles into ponds, sediments on pond bottom, fish-consuming predators etc.) are discussed. A pronounced economic impact of these effects affects the final farming results of fish-pond farms. Regardles of all these problems, the near future of the Czech fish farming can be regarded as optimistic.

 

Historical development of fish farming on the territory of the present-day Czech Republic.

The first written documents on pond foundation and fish-pond farming come from the 11th and 12th century. The beginning of the 15th century meant a qualitative break-point in fish-pond farming. A method of separate culture of fingerling, stock carp and market-size carp came into practice which brought a pronounced increase of production per hectare. The Golden Age of pond farming started at the end of the 15th and lasted over the 16th century in the Bohemian countries. An intensive building of new ponds started in this period (at the end of the 16th century, altogether about 25 thousand ponds of total area of 180 thousand hectares existed here). Vilém of Pernštejn, Štěpánek Netolický, Mikuláš Rutard, and particularly Jakub Krčín belonged to the most prominent personalities of pond building and fish farming at that time. A well-known personality was also the bishop Janus Dubravius, the author of the book On ponds (written in 1535-1540) which became - in many translations and editions - the first European pond-farming textbook. Beginning the Thirty Years´ War (1618-1648), the fish-pond farming dropped down into a decadence. Its renaissance came again in the second half of the 19th century thanks to such personalities as Václav Horák, Josef Šusta and/or Theodor Mokrý. In the period of the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1939), pond farming developed very well, and specialized fish-farming school together with research institute of fish farming were founded. This positive development was discontinued by the World War II. Not long after the war, all ponds were nationalized by state, a new national company of Státní rybářství (The State Fishery) was formed as a monopolized producer of fish. After the year 1989, the state company of Státní rybářství was privatized and new private fish farming companies/farms were established.

 

Linking-up with European bodies

Beginning 1996, the Czech Fish Farmers Association is a member of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) which is one of the most respected international professional organizations having an access to official bodies of EU dealing with fish farming. Via FEAP, the Czech Fish Farmers Association receives all proposal of importnat European regulations to be commented, it can act as a partner of discussion, can submit its own proposals, and it is also in close contact with the other national associations of the EU member countries.

 

Fish and human health

An evaluation of positive aspects of fish consumption from human health point of view. An importance of polyunsaturated acids (omega-3) of fish fat in prevention against cardio-vascular system injuring, a positive effect on development of children´s brain in mother body, on reduction of premature childbirth etc. Digestibility of fish flesh (it leaves the stomach already in 2 to 3 hours after consumption). A suitable composition of extractive substances. Nearly organic character of carp which is produced on natural pond food (zooplankton rich in animal proteins) supplemented only with natural cereals (as a source of energy). Quality warranted by the trade mark Český kapr (The Czech Carp).

 

Which is good to know about a kitchen processing of live fish.

Instructions on live fish (carp) processing at home. Killing, descaling, eviscerating, portioning, removing the skin, filleting of carp and some advices more.

 

Fish on a table

Several basic recipes how to prepare the freswater fish: carp with leek, vegetable salad with grass carp, carp with wild mushrooms, trout in Armenian style, carp with bacon, the traditional Czech Christmas carp soup.

 

Some matters of interest from fish farming

This section is focussed on the general public. Narration about the origin of carp, building of the largest Czech pond Rožmberk (647 ha) in 1584-1590, the beginnings of the Bohemian fisheries education and research, fishing the ponds by means of underlaid net instead of seine net, scaled versus mirror carp, carp fillets, pond-farmers´slang.


LIST OF THE CZECH FISH FARMERS ASSOCIATION MEMBERS