Třeboňský kapr (Třeboň carp)

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Třeboňský kapr

CZO Třeboňský kapr is classified under the species ‘common carp’. No specific strain or crosses of this species are essential in order to achieve the final characteristics of the product. ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is reared in fishponds in the defined area, i.e. reproduction, rearing and farming must take place in this area. Processing need not be carried out in the defined area. The back of the ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is dark green, grey or grey-blue, the sides are yellow-green to golden and the belly is yellow-white. The dorsal and caudal fins are grey, the caudal and anal fins have a reddish tinge, and the pectoral and pelvic fins are yellowish or reddish. The body of the ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is distinguished by its high back. ‘Třeboňský kapr’ grows to a size of up to 1 m and a weight of 20 kg or more. Its optimum slaughter weight is 1,20–1,80 kg at three years of age and 2,40–3,20 kg at four years of age.

Specification of ‘Třeboňský kapr’ meat:

Dry matter 23 %, protein 19,2 %, fat 2,6 %. As regards its organoleptic properties, ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is distinguished by its high-quality meat with a very low fat content. The taste of the meat is delicate with the typical fish taste of Třeboňský kapr. The taste is distinctive and typical as a result of the high-quality, clean water in which the fish are reared in the defined area, the impact of natural and geographical conditions on the rearing of the carp, the influence of the specific subsoil of the Třeboň basin and, above all, the predominantly natural planktonic nutrients in the water in the specified area, combined with supplementary feed. The supplementary feed consists of cereals. ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is placed on the market either live or processed, i.e. frozen, chilled (fresh), smoked or marinaded in the following forms: whole gutted carp, carp divided into halves or portions, fillets and carp offal.

Geographical area:

The area defined for rearing ‘Třeboňský kapr’ comprises fishponds located in the Třeboň basin in the Třeboňsko Protected Landscape Area; the ponds form a system interconnected by the Zlatá stoka and associated watercourses.

Method of production:

Future brood fish for the breeding of ‘Třeboňský kapr’ are always reared from the progeny of known parents whose exterior (bodily proportions, type of scales and colour) corresponds to the required standard. During the rearing of young brood fish in the defined area, a selection process is carried out, when attention is focused on the weight attained, the type of scaling and state of health. Young fish and brood fish are always handled as little as possible. For reproduction of carp a method of stripping is used in a controlled environment at a fish hatchery in the defined area, where the quality of the environment and water is guaranteed. Development of the embryo in the egg takes place in special apparatus. The carp yolk-sac larvae are stocked in special nursery ponds, again in the defined area. During this development, ‘Třeboňský kapr’ live off natural food (plankton and benthos) and they are partially fed with a supplement comprising a mixture of cereal meal containing no additives. The carp fry in these fishponds are left to grow for one to two years and are then transferred to larger fishponds, where they grow to market size in one to two years. In this phase the carp live off two-thirds natural food and one-third supplementary cereal feed.

Feeding has a direct effect on the formation and quality of the meat and thus on the overall utility value of ‘Třeboňský kapr’. The supplementary feeding of stock is adjusted in accordance with the water temperature and the extent to which the water is saturated with oxygen. The intensity of the intake of the supplementary feed by the carp stock is naturally also monitored, as are the growth and state of health of the fish. These facts are established by means of a regular check on feeding points and test catches. Handling ponds consisting of smaller water tanks through which water from the defined area flows are used to store market fish after they have been caught. In the storage ponds, the muddy taste of the fish is eliminated and the meat acquires more value and taste as a result of the clean running water. After harvesting and standard processing, the product undergoes further processing, such as chilling, freezing, smoking and marinading.

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The defined area has a specific climate as a result of its position and geomorphology, a large part of which comprises water bodies; all of this favourably influences the weight growth of the fish. The geographical area is ecologically clean, without substantial industrial and municipal sources of pollution in the Třeboňsko Protected Landscape Area, which has a positive effect on the state of health of the fish. The system of fishponds interconnected by the Zlatá stoka is a unique water scheme dating back more than 300 years, the structure and role of which make it unrivalled not only in Europe but also in the world as a whole, and it comprises a specific biotope with established distinctive properties which influence the properties of the product. This area brings together excellent conditions for the creation of plankton and natural carp feed with a high nutrient content, towards which the specific climatic and geological conditions also contribute, as described below. All the above-mentioned facts create a causal link between the defined geographical area and the final characteristics of the product (see 4.2). ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is mentioned in the history of past centuries, when trade routes led to Passau and Vienna. The tradition of rearing carp in the Czech lands goes back almost a thousand years. Separate carp rearing according to age and the first foundations of the selection of brood carp were mentioned by Dubravius in the 16th century, when fishpond management was more advanced in Třeboňsko than anywhere else. In 1506 Štěpánek Netolický drew up a proposal for a fishpond system in the Třeboň basin. Its fulcrum became the Zlatá stoka which, along its 48 km length, feeds a large number of fishponds between Chlum u Třeboně and Veselí nad Lužnicí with water from the River Lužnice.

References to the breeding of ‘Třeboňský kapr’ appear in many publications, e.g. ‘Atlas kaprů chovaných v ČR’ (Atlas of carp bred in the CR) by J. Pokorný or ‘Pět století rybničního hospodářství v Třeboni’ (Five centuries of fish farming in Třebon) by J. Šusta. The designation ‘Třeboňský kapr’ has been used continuously for over 100 years to designate fish with specific properties. It has been protected since 1974 as Czech designation of origin No 54 ‘Třeboňský kapr’ (Wittingauer Karpfen) and also as international designation of origin ‘Třeboňský kapr’ (Wittingauer Karpfen), protected by international records on the basis of the Lisbon Agreement (No 53 of 22 November 1967 and No 836 of 6 December 2000). In addition, protection of the designation ‘Třeboňský kapr’ is the subject of bilateral agreements concluded between the Czech Republic and Austria, Portugal and Switzerland on the protection of designations of origin.

The special character, quality and taste parameters of ‘Třeboňský kapr’ are determined predominantly by the rearing and nutrition of the fish in the defined geographical area, which has the following specifications:

— Character, specific features and status of the region: The ingenious network of man-made channels and artificial fishponds, built in a number of stages between the Middle Ages and the present day, represents a perfect system of gradual, coordinated landscape changes, which use and exploit the local natural conditions in a sensitive manner. The extensive valley bogs, with well-preserved plant communities and dependent invertebrate fauna, are among the most valuable biotopes, which are in many cases unique not only in Bohemia, but also in the whole of Europe. Other no less valuable elements are the extensive fishpond systems with secondarily formed littoral communities, which often replace the original wetland biotopes.

— Geology: A significant part of Třeboňsko is formed by the geomorphological complex of the Třeboň basin and, in particular, in the western sedimentary part by the flat land of the Lomnický basin and in the eastern part on the crystalline subsoil by the Kardašořečická pahorkatina uplands. The Třeboň basin is slightly cambered from south to north.

— Climate: In general, the climate of Třeboňsko, particularly in the basin areas, is to a certain extent specific and differs from the surrounding areas as a result of the position and geomorphology of the land and the fact that it largely consists of water bodies. The average annual temperature is higher than one would expect at such an altitude and the actual number of hours of sunshine is greater. Heavy showers often occur in the summer period. A characteristic feature of the Třeboň basin is the frequent occurrence of inversions with no wind, when there are, particularly in the colder part of the year, longer periods with stagnation of the air masses in the basin. There is also frequent fog in these situations. The adverse influence of these inversions along with inadequate ventilation fortunately does not have a strong impact on air pollution in Třeboňsko, as there are very few sources of emissions.

— Protected countryside area: In Třeboňsko there are two areas (comprising a great number of sites) that are included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance protected by the Ramsar Convention. Further proof of the specificity of the area's ecosystem lies in the fact that Třeboňsko has for a number of years been classified by Birdlife International as a European Important Bird Area (IBA). Třeboňsko has also been declared a NATURA 2000 protected site (SPA and SAC). All those features make up the specific biome of the region, with its clean environment, water and air, so that the rearing of ‘Třeboňský kapr’ in the defined area has all the hallmarks of an ecologically pure process. On account of the above-mentioned natural parameters, the conditions in the area defined are particularly suited to the generation of natural carp food.

Reference: The European Commission