Jacobsbaai abalone farm breaking out of shell
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Jacobsbaai abalone farm breaking out of shell

A well-known abalone farm on the West Coast is growing at a rate far greater than that of its sought-after delicacies. Situated in Jacobsbaai the highly efficient, no frills Jacobsbaai Sea Products (JSP) abalone farm has doubled in size since 2003, with additional plans to expand by another 75% on the cards.

Jacobsbaai at its best….

Superior seawater

Why the amazing growth? Well, the reason is two-fold. In the first place, JSP produces some of the finest – if not the finest – abalone in the world thanks to the water in its tanks. The farm circulates 36 000m³ of seawater per day, or 1,5 million litres per hour, of seawater through the abalone tanks. And it’s not just any old sea water. 

The sea water on the Cape West Coast is brought close to land by the cold Benguela Current – a current favoured by the Haliotis midae abalone species because of the temperature of its water that rarely rises above 25 degrees Celsius. Add to that the high nutrient content of the Cape West Coast’s ocean water and it’s easy to see why, for abalone, the region is heaven under water.

Big in Japan (and Asia)

The second reason for JSP’s remarkable growth is the ongoing high demand for South African abalone in the East. Asia is the farm’s biggest export destination, a market it goes to great lengths for canning or drying their larger animals. Abalone is a status symbol on that side of the world, used to impress wedding guests and business partners because of its high cost. In addition to Hon Kong and Taiwan, the farm supplies select restaurants on the West Coast.

Pillar of the community

Jacobsbaai Sea Products employs 55 people from the Jacobsbaai community who ensure the operation runs smoothly around the clock 365 days a year. And despite challenges brought on by load shedding – the tanks require circulation at all time – the farm’s focus on quality and dedication to the nurture and growth of its abalone will surely ensure its own growth for many years to come.