Fish Farming

In many parts of the world, fish have provided an important part of people’s diets for centuries. During the last hundred years, fish catches have increased rapidly due to technological improvements including more powerful engines and sonar equipment. Despite the fact that growth in fish catches stopped some 15 years ago, over fishing had already caused the worldwide decrease in stocks to become a real problem. The need to increase fish production by fish farming is urgent. The term ’aquaculture’ involves all forms of culture of aquatic animals and plants in fresh-, brackish- and saltwater. Aquaculture has the same objective as agriculture: to increase the production of food above the level which would be produced naturally. As in agriculture, fish farming techniques include the removal of unwanted plants and animals, their replacement by desirable species, the improvement of these species by cross-breeding and selection, and the improvement of food availability by the use of fertilizers. Fish farming can be combined with agriculture, animal husbandry and irrigation practices which can lead to a better utilization of local resources and ultimately to higher production and net profits. This practice is called ’integrated fish farming’ and this subject is extensively dealt with in Agrodok Books.

Advantages of fish farming

  1. Fish is a high quality animal protein provider for human consumption.
  2. A farmer can often integrate aquaculture into the existing farm to create additional income and improve water management on the farm.
  3. Fish growth in ponds can be controlled: the fish species raised are the
    ones the farmer selected.
  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 if it is suitably prepared.