The Fish farming industry in Israel originally began in the north of the country. In the early 50’s the industry was dominated by the production of common carp which is the species traditionally used in the preparation of Sabbath meals. In the following decades artificial ponds were built near the coastal areas and around the Sea of Galilee which enabled fish farmers to supply a wider variety of fish according to Israeli requirements at the time.
Although a very large portion of fish being farmed today consists of tilapia (St, Peter’s fish) and carp, the fish farming industry has expanded to include various species of Mullet as well as Sea Bream, Sea Bass and Trout. There has also arisen a keen demand for ornamental carp varieties like koi, goldfish and many other aquarium assortment. Most of these aquarium fish are exported for sale to ornamental fish hobbyists around the world resulting in Israel becoming one of the leading suppliers of upmarket varieties.
When it became clear that Israel was still importing a large percentage of Table fish, a revolutionary idea was born to increase fish production: moving the industry to the south of the country. In this desert area land was extremely inexpensive and a growing high-tech industry would be useful in developing the country’s economy and increasing the population and employment opportunities in the Negev Desert area.
Fish farming in brackish water in the Negev Desert was successfully established and has become a rapid solution for supplying protein to populations worldwide especially in developing countries.