Fish farming is man’s conscious effort and intervention in the life cycle of the aquatic animal. Fishes are one of the oldest animals in the evolutionary trend.
WHAT IS FISH FARMING
Fish farming can also be referred to as pisciculture which involves the culturing and rearing of fish in an artificial environment like tanks and enclosures for commercially purposes and also for food.
Fish farming means ‘raising fish commercially in tanks, ponds or other enclosures for the purpose of producing food’.
Commercial fish farming has already established as a profitable business venture throughout the world.
Fish is a great source of food and protein. The demand and price of fish and fish related products are also increasing rapidly, in accordance with rapid population growth.
This is the main reason of increasing this business around the world. Almost all countries around the world are somehow suitable for fish farming business. But the countries with coastal areas are very suitable for this business.
There are many areas, where fish farming business is the only way of livings for the people.
However, here we are describing more about the advantages of fish farming and the steps for starting this business commercially.
WHY DO WE ENGAGE IN FISH FARMING?
(1) By raising fish we make better use of our land and our water.
(2) If you raise fish your family will have more to eat. The protein in fish will keep your family strong and healthy. Fish are tasty, like chicken, sheep and goat.
(3) If your family is not too big, you will have more fish than you need for food and you can sell them at the market.
(4) If your family is not too big, with more food and more money you and your family can live better.
(5) But fish farming is not easy. To raise fish needs as much hard work as to raise anything else, such as maize, rice, cassava or groundnuts.
(6) You will need to learn to do many things.
IMPORTANCE OF FISH FARMING BUSINESS
There are numerous importance of starting commercial fish farming business. Some are listed below:
1] According to the demand, commercial fish farming business allows for large supplies of fish. Catching fish from the wild can’t always fulfill the consumer’s demand. In such cases commercial fish farming can meet up this demand.
2] Fish can be raised in tanks until they are ready for marketing, and they don’t require the extensive capture of wild fish. Thus commercial fish farming helps to preserve natural ecosystems.
3] Compared to the wild brethren, some farm raised fish species are more nutritious. Fish are usually fed a wide variety of protein and nutrient enriched foods or pellets on commercial fish farms. So farm fish become healthier than the wild fish.
4] Various types of fish species are available throughout the world. So you can choose your desired species for your fish farming business.
5] Fish are very popular as food around the world. So there is an established fish market, and you don’t have to worry about marketing your products.
6] You can start fish farming business in both large and small scale production purpose.
7] If you don’t have enough capital for starting this business, then you can apply for bank loans. Many banks will allow loans for starting this business commercially.
8] Fish farming business is a great source of employment. More than 1 billion people around the world depend on fish as their primary protein source.
And most of this people are directly or indirectly involved with fish products or fish farming business. As a result, fish farming creates a great income and employment source for the people.
Global fish exportation business is now earning more money every year, than any other food commodity.
Even you can meet up your daily family nutritional demands through small scale fish farming in tanks or ponds.
How to Start Fish Farming Business
For maintaining a profitable fish farming business, you have to go through some step by step process.
The steps for starting a fish farming business includes
- Selecting suitable farm land or area
- Fish farm type (cage, tank or pond).
- Cage or pond construction
- Selecting fish species, feeding.
- Care & management
- Harvesting and marketing.
We are shortly describing all the steps below. For running a successful fish farming business, follow every steps very carefully.
Select a Suitable Farm Land/Area
Selecting a suitable land or area is very important for starting commercial fish farming business. All the areas are not suitable for profitable business.
And some areas have plenty of natural resources, which are very effective for fish farming business. Especially coastal areas and the areas near big rivers or stream are very suitable for establishing fish farming business.
Consider the followings while selecting land or areas for your business:
1] Select relatively level land and avoid steeply sloped lands.
2] Consider your future business plan, while selecting the land. It will be better if you can select a large piece of land, where you can perform all types of necessary farm activities.
3] Avoid flooding and polluted areas, because flooding area can harm your business seriously.
4] Don’t select fish farming land near the crop fields. Farmers usually use a lots of fertilizers and pesticides in their field for better production. These chemicals get mixed with water and the polluted water can affect your fish farm.
5] It will be better, if your selected land become slightly lower than the main water source. It also help to reduce the cost of filling your farm land with water. Natural gravity will fill the land without any cost.
Ensure good transportation system is available in your selected area. Good transportation system will be very effective for marketing your products and purchasing necessary commodities from the market.
Types of Fish Farming Ponds
There are numerous specific type of fish farms in both intensive and extensive fish farming system. You can start fish farming business by choosing any type.
You can choose cage system, tank system or pond system. In cage system, make a suitable cage and place it in lakes, ponds, bayous or oceans and start feeding the fish until they reach marketing age.
In case of raising fish in tanks, make a or a few tanks and stock fish there. Here we are describing more about fish farming in pond system.
Pond Design & Construction For Fish Farming Business
Construct a suitable pond, after selecting your farm area. Before constructing, make a good design and make the pond according to your desired design.
While designing the pond, ensure the availability of all types of necessary facilities for maintaining a profitable fish farming business.
Although the design of a pond depends on the fish species you intend to raise and your location. You can consult with your nearest fisheries institute to learn more about specific pond design for specific fish species.
Always try to maintain a good environment in the pond. Good environment helps to live and grow the fish well, and it directly involved with better production and maximum profits.
Suitable Fish Species for Fish Farming
Selecting suitable fish species is very important for maximizing profits form fish farming business. Select those breeds, which have a huge demand and high price in your local market.
The most important fish species used in fish farming throughout the world are carp, salmon, tilapia and catfish.
All of these fish species have many varieties and suitable for farming in all types of agro-climatic conditions.
Select the fish species for farming, depending on your local facilities, demand and price.
Feeding of Fishes
Feeding is the most important part of commercial fish farming business. Always try to provide your fish high quality and nutritious food. High quality food not only ensures maximum production but also help to keep the fish healthy.
So provide your fish supplementary fish feed along with natural food. There are various types of prepared commercial fish feed available in the market for specific fish species. You can purchase those commercial feed from the market or prepare it by your own.
Learn more about preparing supplementary fish feed, if you want to prepare it by your own. Don’t forget to add all types of necessary nutrient elements, such as vitamins, minerals, salt etc. Feed your fish several times a day, depending on the fish species.
Care & Management of the Fish
Always try to provide your fish fresh and nutritious foods. It will be better, if you can change water from the pond occasionally.
If not possible, then you can use some chemicals according to the suggestion of an expert. Monitor the health of your fish on a regular basis. Do all your necessary farm tasks timely.
Keep the pond environment clean and suitable for proper growth. Test the water and soil quality of your pond on a regular basis.
Always stock some necessary drugs on your farm. Prevent all types of predators, including frogs, snakes etc.
Harvesting of Fish
After a certain period, the fish become suitable for harvesting. Although this time depends on the fish species.
Start harvesting, when a major numbers of fish reach marketing age. You can use net for harvesting fish or by removing water from the pond.
Try to harvest during morning or afternoon, when temperature is low. After harvesting, send the fish to the market as soon as possible.
Marketing of Fish
Marketing is the easiest step of fish farming business.
There are numerous markets available where you can sell your products. And all types of fish have a huge demand in the market. After harvesting, you can easily sell the fish at any of your nearest local market.
Even there are many companies available who export fish to the foreign countries. So don’t worry about marketing the products, just focus on the other steps.
Commercial fish farming business is really very profitable and a good source of earning livings.
If you intend to join this venture, then visit some fish farms in your area and try to have some practical knowledge.