Fish Farming Business Information:
The following write up is all about Fish Farming Business.
Introduction to Fish Farming Business
Fish meat is an important diet that is rich in protein and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and delicious. For many centuries fishing in the wild with improved technology has increased fish catching. But, in the last two decades, fish catch has decreased worldwide in the wild because of overfishing. Fish production through fish farming is increasing to meet the demand. Aquaculture is a cultivation of freshwater species or Pisciculture a scientific technology for fish production from a pond or tank; this commercial fish farming business is increasing rapidly to meet the huge Indian market demand. There is a great opportunity to take fish farming business as a career in business and income source. Farmers can utilize the new technology of integration of fish farming along with agriculture production such as aquaponics for maximum profits.
The demand for fish is increasing because of the high quality of protein for human consumption. According to the market demand for a certain type of fish species, a farmer can raise particular fish species in a pond. Marginal lands that are poor for agriculture can be effectively used in making fish farming business profits provided through suitable preparation.
Why Fish Farming Business
Fish farming business is growing rapidly in response to observed environmental changes and global warming changes are deteriorating marine environment which is happening in most developed and developing countries. With a fast pace of urbanization culture and increasing, high unemployment is affecting food security. This is opening a thought process of growing food with modern science techniques which will allow growing food, selling surplus food, and creating jobs. The fish farming business allows growing food in close proximity to urban areas addressing positively for a large supply of fresh fish. Growing fish commercially in tanks will meet the demand and helps preserve natural ecosystems. Fish consumption as food is popular throughout the world and fish farming helps in growing desired types of fish species for fish farming business.
Fish Farming Business Practices
Selection of Fish Species in Fish Farming Business:
Fish farming business requires various biological and economic factors while selecting the type of fish species. The farmer must grow species that are in market demand along with market value. He must also consider fish growth rate and ability to reproduce in captivity. Availability and costing of fingerling or larvae of desired fish species for farming. The farmer must also take into consideration of the food preference of the selected fish species.
The suitability of species must also depend on disease resistance, hardiness, size, and age at first maturity. Some species might have good market value but the growth rate might be slow, such culture might not be profitable. Fish that utilizes most of the feed in reaching marketable size and puts on muscle growth than in attaining maturity and reproduction will yield more profits. This might generally make the farmer depend on fingerling supply caught from the wild which is not reliable. Fingerling supply might vary from season to season as fish reproduction in natural conditions depends on various environmental conditions. It is recommended to select fish species that can be easily reproduced in the farming culture or availability of fingerlings at the nearest fish culture stations or from a reliable fish supplier.
Hardy fish species such as tilapia can tolerate and survive unfavorable culture conditions. Choose fish species that are susceptible to diseases. Feeding habits vary with the fish species, while the feeding costs affect the total cost of production. Herbivorous species (plant eating) or omnivorous species (plant and animal eating) are recommended as they feed on natural food resources occurring in the pond thereby feeding costs will be relatively low. Fish species that need high protein such as carnivorous species will lead to high feeding costs even though they might fetch a high market price. A farmer must consider all the above-mentioned facts and suggestions before making a decision which species to grow in the tank or pond.
Fish Nutrition in Fish Farming Business:
In a pond, there are two types of food available for fish to eat and grow. One, either by feeding supplemented fish food and second, natural fish food that consists of algae and tiny animals which occur in the pond. Natural food increases by itself by fertilizing the pond and the supplementary food is supplied on a timely basis in a regular quantity depending on the number of fishes in the pond to grow.
Algae play an important role in fish farming business in the pond. Small plants including algae produce oxygen with the help of sunlight. Oxygen levels in the fishpond depend on the sunlight. Usually, by the end of the afternoon the oxygen levels are at the highest and by night oxygen levels start decreasing. Early mornings are the times when the oxygen levels are at the lowest levels. Oxygen levels in the fishpond are very important for fish mortality as many fisheries get affected by the shortage of oxygen leading to very low fish production. Most of the supplementary food is directly consumed by fish. Overfeeding of supplementary food will decay and use up oxygen in the fishpond.
Health and Disease in Fish Farming Business:
The major fear for an aqua farmer is a fish disease. Once a fish gets affected by disease or enters the pond, it will be very difficult to control and remove it. Water quality must be maintained to the optimum as fish are very vulnerable to diseases in poor environmental conditions. A disease infected fish is difficult to pick out in the initial stage of treatment and isolation. Most of the diseases can be found out in the later stages or when most fish get affected. Sick fish do not grow and when they are near to market size will bring much loss to the farmer. Diseases will affect a farmer in costs for their treatment and even will delay the harvest which can prove a great loss. Prevention of disease is better than disease treatment when it comes to commercial fish farming business. Maintaining the water quality, good nutrition, and reducing stress on fish in the tank or pond are the major factors for healthy fish farming. Aquafarmer must be vigilant and observe for any change in normal behavior and other signs such as sores, ragged fins, gasping for air at the water surface, or rubbing against pond or tank walls.
Fish Reproduction in Fish Farming Business:
Aquafarmer must analyze which is easier for him whether it is easy to breed the fish himself or in obtaining young fish from the wild. It is recommended for every fish farmer to achieve controlled reproduction. This will supply eggs and fingerlings in adequate numbers for next farming and harvest. By regulating the fishpond for environmental stimuli that trigger the release of hormones in males and females, which cause the fish to spawn.A fish farmer must have knowledge about suitable breeding conditions such as day length, water temperature, and water levels.
Aquaculture Methods and Practices in Fish Farming Business
Fish farming is done in three types of environment: freshwater, brackish water, and marine. In freshwater, fish farming is carried out in fish ponds, fish pens, or fish cages. In brackish water, this system is mostly carried out in coastal regions wherein the water from streams or lakes is used as water supply resource for fishponds. In the marine system, fish are grown in fish pens or fish cages immersed in open ocean till they reach marketing size.
Fish Pond Culture of Fish Farming Business:
In pond culture, fish are grown in natural or manmade tanks or ponds. In this system the water is mostly stagnant, hence regular water purification must be undertaken. There are three main pond culture systems:- Extensive, Semi-intensive, and Intensive. In the extensive system, the density of fish stocking is low. Fish species can either be grown as monoculture or polyculture. Fish depend on natural food in the water and no supplemental feeding. Water is changed manually or through tidal means. The size of ponds is usually large and shallow with a low fish production. In semi and intensive culture systems, the density of fish is high in semi-intensive and very high in the intensive system. Fish species are mainly grown in monoculture. Water is purified mechanically as the water remains stagnant. Oxygen levels in the water are maintained by using air pumps. Fish are fed by supplemental food in equal doses at regular intervals. Fish harvesting or production is very high and can be done twice or thrice in a year. Fishpond water must be clean with a pH value of 7.5 to 8.5 ranges.
Integrated Fish Farming Business:
This type of fish farming business is observed in Asian regions, fish farming is integrated along with growing of crops, poultry, and other animals. By-products or waste of animals become food for other animals such as waste of poultry will fertilize the fish pond and fertilizers for crops and the waste vegetables can be utilized in feeding poultry and other animals in the farm. This type of farming is proven economically viable with less investment yielding good fish, poultry, and crop productions.
Pen and Cage Culture of Fish Farming Business:
In this system, fish farming is done in enclosure immersed in open oceans, rivers, streams, and ponds. Young fish or fingerlings are kept in a mesh, netting, rattan cages, or basket enclosure in a free exchange of water feeding on natural food available in the water. This is traditional method mainly found in southeast regions and practiced. Once the fish reach marketing size will be transported to markets. They are prepared using different materials and vary in various sizes and shapes.
Fish Farming Business Maintenance and Monitoring
Regular maintenance and monitoring are the important aspects in order to achieve high fish production and profits.
Water Turbidity in Fish Farming Business:
Turbidity is a term used to analyze the amount of dirt, hard particles, and algae present in the fishpond. The higher the turbidity the lesser the fish production can be attained. Turbidity affects the oxygen levels leading to fish death. It reduces the sunlight penetration thus reducing the oxygen production by the water plants. Turbidity can be reduced in many ways such as purifying the water through filters or putting hay to reduce mud inflow into the pond or applying alum at a rate of one gram per 100 liter water, and many other ways can be used to reduce water turbidity.
Water – Acidity, Alkalinity, and Hardness in Fish Farming Business:
Water that is used for fish farming business must meet certain criterion for fish to grow healthily. Water that comes into the pond after heavy rainfall may carry certain substances from the soil which gets dissolved in water. This water which gets dissolved with more soil substance is acidic in nature and to make it neutral, lime is added into the fishpond. Water alkalinity is just the opposite of the water acidity. Water that contains more salts is called water hardness. The levels of acidity, alkalinity, and hardness of water must be maintained with a pH value between 6.5 to 8.5 by adding lime to the pond. Fish growth depends on the water pH values; fish die when the water pH is less than 4.5 and greater than 10.5, the fish growth rate is slow when the water pH is between 4.5 to 6.5 and 8.5 to 10.5, the fish growth is optimum when the water pH levels are between 6.5 to 8.5 ranges.
Toxic Substances in Fish Farming Business:
Any chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides that are poisonous to fish when present in the fishpond or fish tank can seriously decrease the fish production. Ensure the pond or fish tank is not affected by such toxic chemicals used in animal husbandry and cultivation of crops get mixed with fish farming water.
Oxygen Levels in Fish Tank of Fish Farming Business:
The sign of oxygen levels going down in the fishpond are when the fish start coming to the surface of the water and gulping for oxygen. This can either be happened due to over fish density or due to water turbidity. This can be solved by adding freshwater into the pond or tank. Do not feed or stir up the water as it will further decrease the oxygen levels in the water. Fisheries, where oxygen stress is prevalent, will lead to fish death and a huge loss of fish farming business.
Daily Management Tasks of Fish Farming Business:
- Check the water temperature, water pH levels.
- Check early morning oxygen levels.
- Check for any possible water leakages.
- Clean the water filters both at the water outlet and inlet.
- Check the fish activity and behavior at the feeding time.
- Check for any disease symptoms at the feeding time.
- Clean the tank or pond from any weeds or other plant growth.
- Check the precautionary measures and rearrange if necessary to protect from predators.
Fish Species for Fish Farming Business
Freshwater fish for Fish Farming Business: mullets, eels, catfish, Puntiusgonionotus, Leptobarbus, Clariasbatrachus, Oxyeleotris, and Macrobrachium.
Brackishwater fish for Fish Farming Business: Seabass, mullet, siganids, sea bream, grouper, snapper, threadfin, carangids. Hilsa spp., Sparus spp., and eels.
Marine fish for Fish Farming Business: Siganids, pampano, yellowtail, tuna, grouper, snapper, sea bass, sea bream, carangids, Pomfret.
Harvesting and Post-Harvesting in Fish Farming Business:
In the fish farming business cycle, the final phase of farming is harvesting. Harvesting of fish is done when the fish attain maturity or marketable size whichever is early. On an average fish that are five or six months old will be ready for harvesting and it varies depending on the species. Harvesting can be done in different ways. Draining the pond or by using harvesting net to catch the fish. Farmers empty the pond before the sunrise while it is still cool. Fishnets of desirable net holes are used to catch the required size of the fishes. Fish can also be harvested by taking all the fish in the tank at a time by draining the water. Use the best suitable method to harvest fish depending on the tank or pond size and shape. Some fishes can be retained in the pond for breeding or young fish are retained for the next harvesting. The different types of net used for harvesting fish are: lift net, scoop net, cast net, and seine net.
Handling of harvested fish is very important both for the farmer and consumers. Freshness, cleanliness, and quality will increase profits. While icing the fish, ensure the fish are drained fully, and avoid trampling or throwing or kicking the fish at the time of packing. Fish that are to be transported must be packed properly with ice and sealed to retain freshness. Fish quality gets spoiled quickly within 12 hours after harvest; hence post harvesting must be handled quickly with proper care and make ready for transporting.