After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Advantages of Fish Farming 2. Methods of Fish Farming.
Advantages of Fish Farming:
1. Fish provides high quality animal protein for human consumption.
2. A farmer can often integrate fish farming into the existing farm to create additional income and improve its water management.
3. Fish growth in ponds can be controlled: the farmers themselves select the fish species they wish to raise.
4. The fish produced in a pond are the owner’s property; they are secure and can be harvested at will. Fish in wild waters are free for all and make an individual share in the common catch uncertain.
5. Fish in a pond are usually close at hand.
6. Effective land use: effective use of marginal land e.g. land that is too poor, or too costly to drain for agriculture can be profitably devoted to fish farming provided that it is suitably prepared.
Methods of Fish Farming:
Fish farming may range from ‘backyard’ subsistence ponds to large scale industrial enterprises. Farming systems can be expressed in terms of input levels.
1. In extensive fish farming, economic and labour inputs are usually low. Natural food production plays a very important role, and the system’s productivity is relatively low. Fertiliser may be used to increase fertility and thus fish production.
2. Semi-intensive fish farming requires a moderate level of inputs and fish production is increased by the use of fertiliser and/or supplementary feeding. This means higher labour and feed costs, but higher fish yields usually more than compensate for this.
3. Intensive fish farming involves a high level of inputs and stocking the ponds with as many fish as possible. The fish are fed supplementary feed, while natural food production plays a minor role. In this system, difficult management problems can arise caused by high fish stocking densities (increased susceptibility to diseases and dissolved oxygen shortage).
The high production costs force one to fetch a high market price in order to make the fish farm economically feasible.