Trout fish hatchery business has dipped in the face of their reduced consumption at the back of reduced tourist inflows to Nyanga National Park, state media reports.
The low uptake of the cold-water fish species – a world famous delicacy is also being compounded by its expensive pricing.
ZimParks’ ranger Chidaushe Mutyasira said the dearth in tourist arrivals to the region had negatively affected the fish’s hatcheries in Nyanga National Parks.
The ZimParks official said they have since stopped supplying restaurants in Mutare and Masvingo due to viability challenges.
“We have since stopped supplying hotels and restaurants in areas like Masvingo and Mutare because of business viability. Trout costs $9 per kg while you can get other types of fish at $2 per kg,” Mutyasira said.
Trout is a fresh cold-water species that thrives in cool climates and presently is only being successfully farmed in Nyanga and Cape Town, South Africa in Africa. They are natives to most cold water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean.
“Trout do not like mud or sand and this area is most ideal as the streams running through rocks fulfil the condition. They also require temperatures of between 7 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees.”
Trout fishing is one of the major attractions in the vast Nyanga National Park until the current dip in tourists.
Their fishing is popular as a sport across the globe because they always put up a good fight, and are pretty tasty when anglers decide to keep them.
“The market used to be very good because of high tourist arrivals, however a decline in Game Park arrivals coupled with decreased hotel frequency and occupancy have led to a sharp fall in the sales of the trout fish,” Mutyasira said.
The Nyangombe River on the Rhodes Estate in Nyanga was first opened for trout fishing in 1938 although the earliest attempt to introduce trout into Africa was in Malawi in 1905.