Fish farming in Veta la Palma is developed on an extensive and semi-extensive basis over an area of 8,000 acres using semi-salt water. The production area comprises 45 ponds, each covering 173 acres, which are interconnected and also linked with the rivers Guadalquivir and Guadiamar by a complex network of irrigation and drainage channels measuring more than 186 miles in length. The system is connected to a station with capacity to pump up to 12,000 l/s by means of open, semi-open or closed systems as required by the environmental and crop conditions.
The pools are used for the extensive breeding of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), sea bream (Sparus aurata), meagre (Argyrosomus regius), mugilids (striped mullet, Mugil cephalus), shrimp (Palaemonetes varians), sole (Solea senegalensis, S. solea) and eels (Anguilla anguilla). There are also smaller ponds at the head of each of the larger ones which are used for the decantation, confinement and fattening of young fish and the breeding of sea bass, sea bream and meagre on a semi-extensive basis. The ponds are hydraulically controlled together with the renovation water from the estuary to achieve different degrees of mixing and recirculation as required by the specific environmental and crop cycle conditions.
The rich habitat of the marshlands together with the hydraulic management of the different farming units generates a significant secondary production of crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates which make up the trophic basis which supports both the reared species and large amount of birds which are present in the area at any time of the year. The combination of water, light and nutrients together with the careful manipulation of the water masses generates a complex trophic network, whereby the farming ponds act as treatment plants which transform nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, etc.) into biomass. This biomass is regulated and extracted from the system through commercial fishing and the strong pressure exerted by birds.
Fish farm production at Veta la Palma involves the application of sustainable modern technology throughout an innovative breeding process which generates benefits for the environment and is aimed at guaranteeing maximum quality at all times. As a result of natural feeding our fish is of exceptional quality in terms of freshness, texture and flavour and is considered a gourmet product which is much appreciated by exponents of haute cuisine. Fish are caught daily and the produce is sent, always in optimum conditions of freshness, to restaurateurs and clients from all over Europe. The quality of Veta la Palma has been recognised with the ISO 9001:2008 international quality certification, and the process to obtain the environmental certification in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard is currently being completed.