Fish farming, otherwise known as pisciculture, involves raising fish in artificial ponds or tanks to be marketed. Agriculture(.com) suggests about 17% of the global consumption of animal protein comes from fish. It is beyond question why fish farming is one of the fastest-growing businesses throughout the world.
Read on to find everything associated with fish farming.
Type of Fish Farms
Depending on the fish species, production size, food, and geographical location, fish farming systems vary extensively. Still, based on the feed, there are three types of fish farming systems: Extensive, Semi-intensive, and Intensive type.
Usually attributed to medium and large area ponds, in extensive type systems, fish get all the food from the natural productivity of water, i.e., algae, plankton, crustaceans, and other aquatic vegetation. The addition of fertilizers and manure to enhance food productivity can be little to none —to foster the fish in the same environment as in the wild. And with the stretch being extensive, the fish development is more healthy (depending on the water condition). The investment in this type of system is moderate, and the return is high.
Referred to medium size ponds—anywhere between thousands and hundreds of cubic meters of water. In semi-intensive type systems, fish get the bulk of their nutrition from natural zooplankton like crustaceans(supported by artificial supplies). Enrichment of water is essential to boost oxygen levels. Here the production is more than the extensive systems, and following commercial means—more stress is given on the stocking density—to yield high returns in a shorter period.
Practiced in limited fields, in intensive systems, the fish get their food from artificial feeding. The labor cost is high—as almost all the requirements like water salinity, pH levels, oxygen supply, regular removal of waste are in check at all times. The stocking density depends on the species adaptability; usually, salmon, tuna, sturgeons, and trouts are given more preference. Although the investment required is high, due to tremendous production, profit is noteworthy. Fish Farm at CuandoCubango province in Angola is a fabulous example of intensive fish farming systems.
A lot of factors such as budget, environment, temperature, area, and reproduction time determine whether a species is suitable for fish farming or not. While there are 240 known species raised in aquaculture, carp, salmon, tilapia, catfish, cod, and also shrimps are given more preference. Besides, the success of a species also depends on the type of system. For instance, in extensive systems, catfish, carp, and tilapia boom well; whereas, intensive systems suit salmon, seabass, tuna, and sturgeon. Another factor that hugely decides a suitable species is market demand. In Asian markets, shrimp have an immense call; on the other hand, squid and cuttlefish suit the European market.
There are two main accounts associated with fish farming: the first being the initial investment, and the other is operating expenses. The start-up costs include the pond installation, land area, aeration system (oxygen supply), pumps —these charges depend on the local labor charges and varying material values. The maintenance costs involve purchasing eggs, food, electricity, chemicals, refrigerators, transportation charges, and much more. The average value majorly depends on the variety of systems, i.e., indoor or outdoor.
The success of fish farming depends on numerous factors but not all play as important a role as marketing. Depending on the present market situation, availability, seasonal or consistent request—the profit margin will vary significantly. The size of the operation and production level should be per requirement. For instance, if there isn't a tremendous need, a large production can hinge the profits.
Permits and Licenses
In the USA, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issue certificates of registration. Be it a small-scale production or large operation, if there is a commercial engagement—a certificate suggesting the equivalent is an obligation. Also, depending on the type of species, the registration process might differ. For instance, the production of non-native fishes requires a Restricted Species Authorization. Moreover, permits from local agencies may also be bound.
Challenges and Risks in Fish Farming
No business can neglect the risk factors. With the development in technology, fish farming is becoming more successful and guarantees profits in minimal time. Still, there are risks like poor health of fish, faulty equipment, etc., that one should weigh before investing in fish farming. However, one can minimize the business risk incorporated with fish farming:
● Perform regular examination of the pieces of equipment, ponds to prevent any sudden malfunctions.
● Check the quality of water, pH, and salinity levels to preserve production health.
● Take measures to restrain the stock density for a healthy return by consulting the experts.
● Insurance of the fish farm will prevent any sudden loss and maintain financial assurance.
With the rise in awareness of the significance of a nutritional diet, the demand for seafood is ever-increasing. While start-up costs might seem extreme, there is no better alternative to fish farming for more reliable and quicker returns.