Fish farming, also known as aquaculture, is the commercial process of raising fish in an enclosed area for use in the fishing industry. A fish farm is either built on land or naturally occurring water bodies, like an off ocean shore. The fish farm is basically used for raising a large variety of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. Today, fish farming is carried out on a large scale, thus offering an alternative solution to meet the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein. Fish farming is classified into two basic types, namely, extensive farming and intensive farming. Extensive fish farming includes holding the fish in nets or cages in their native habitat, such as lakes, rivers or oceans. Intensive fish farming includes containment of fish in ponds or tanks where the fish farmer provides them with all their nutrition. Read on further to know more about the fish farming techniques.
Types Of Fish Farming
Nets or cages are used to farm fish in off shore coastal areas and freshwater lakes, ponds and oceans. When the fish so caught meets the demand in the market, they are fed artificially and harvested in the cages. Cage farming system has several benefits. This technique can be practiced in different water sources, like lakes, ponds, seas and oceans. Different fish can be raised together and the water can well be used for other purposes like water sports. However, this technique has certain disadvantages, such as spread of diseases, poaching and concerns of poor quality water.
For raising fish on a small scale, ponds prove to be highly beneficial. The owners can create ponds in their farms and houses and control the farming system as well. The pond water can be used for raising fish as well as for harvesting the dry areas. However, if the ponds are not maintained properly, the untreated water released into the environment, can cause pollution. Ponds are most effective for raising fish for self-consumption.
Raceways are narrow streams that flow between two wall type structures in farms. The raceways are constructed to divert water from streams or well into the water channels that contain fish. The main disadvantage of this technique is that the fish can easily escape from the raceways and enter the natural waterways. Also, the government has imposed various restrictions asking the farmers to treat the water before diverting it back to the natural waterways.
The recirculating system raises fish using recycled water. Various fish species are grown using this technique, as the waste water is treated and recycled many a times. The major disadvantage of recirculating system is the high operative cost of the electricity being used.
Tips for Fish Farming
- The quality of the water in ponds and tanks should be well maintained.
- To avoid grazing animals from entering and harming the fish, high banks must be built to protect the ponds.
- Always keep a check on potential predators, like snakes, which can harm the fish.
- The health condition of the fish must be regularly monitored to prevent the spread of fish diseases.
- The diseased fish must be quarantined and removed from the fish tank.
- Construct the cages according to the size of the water body. For deep water bodies, go for floating cages, while fixed cages best suit low depth water bodies.
- Install water bamboos in the depth of the water body to keep the cages floating.