Unlisted abalone farming specialist Abagold will recover its full production capacity only in 2020 after its operations in Hermanus were hit by the red tide at that seaside town in early 2017.Abagold — along with Premier Fishing, I&J and Viking Fishing (now subject to a takeover by Sea Harvest) — ranks as one of the biggest aquaculture ventures in SA.Aquaculture, which is not subject to quota allocations or total allowable catches, has also become a sought-after business for traditional fishing enterprises. Recently Oceana, the biggest such enterprise on the JSE, indicated it was looking for opportunities in aquaculture.The red tide event, a common term used for a harmful algal bloom, underlines the fact that aquaculture is not without its risks. While other large operations were not hit by the red tide, Abagold took a serious operational blow and reported a 46% drop in turnover to R81m in the six months to end-December.Abagold MD Tim Hedges says the board opted for a strategy of re...

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