Fish holding facilities at the College can be divided into three main areas:
National Aquatics Training Centre (NATC)
The NATC is an incredible teaching facility, and is the only one of its kind in the UK. It has a 650m² purpose-built fish house holding stocks of carp, catfish, tilapia, barramundi and an extensive range of ornamental species. It features a large indoor koi pool, research areas and up-to-date holding systems, many sponsored by industrial partners.
Marine habitats have been recreated to replicate a range of ecological systems and access to the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Portsmouth provides bespoke teaching and learning facilities in local marine environments for our Higher Education students.
Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre
The unique Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre provides an excellent facility to support teaching and learning. This brand new £500,000 facility includes modern trial and research facilities to enable students to experience commercial salmonid production.
Supplied by borehole water, the site produces brown trout for restocking local rivers and rainbow trout for the table. It is also a research and development facility used by a number of the largest fish food manufacturers in Britain for food trials. Much of this work is carried out by the students and helps fund a Year 3 European study tour.
The Sparsholt Fishery is a one-hectare lake, fed by water from the Salmonid Centre, which holds stocks of carp, roach, rudd, bream, crucian carp, tench and perch. Students fish this lake as part of their course or recreationally, on a day or season ticket basis.
Our fish holding facilities are complemented by laboratories equipped with specialist instruments that support and develop analysis techniques required for careers in consultancy and fishery management.
We have excellent contacts with sport fisheries, fish farms and ornamental fish businesses across much of Britain. For example, Sparsholt students and staff carry out much of the netting and electric fishing work for many fishing clubs and commercial fisheries across Southern England.
The College hosts fish farming, sports fishery and aquatics industry events each year and is recognised worldwide for its expertise in providing fishery studies training.