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Fish farming, classification of fish production systems, types of cultural practices their advantages and disadvantages.

Fish farming, classification of fish production systems, types of cultural practices their advantages and disadvantages.

Types of fish farming are distinguished mainly by the amount of investment, the quantity of fish per unit of an area, and by the products’ destination. They are generally characterized by their degree of intensification, which is defined by feeding practices. Based on the level of intensity of production, it can be divided into three major sectors. Namely;

a) Artisanal (small scale)

This technique is implemented primarily in suburban zones and offers the best environment for the supply of inputs and the marketing of fish.

This is the small-scale sector usually organized by the family unit. It is labor intensive and made up of two sub-sectors. Namely;

  i. Riverine and lake canoe fisheries.

 ii. Flood pond fisheries are based on the exploitation of flood plains and this is seasonal.

b)  Aquaculture (fish farming)

This is the cultivation of fish in collected environments for food purposes. It involves the selection of sites for fish pond construction, proper construction, stocking and feeding of cultured species, management of pond water, pond bottom, and harvesting of fish after the culture period.

This sector of the industry is very versatile and active as it involves many stakeholders and professionals such as pond engineers, fish health experts, nutritionists, and geneticists.

Aquaculture is not intended to replace fisheries but to supplement supplies of animal protein.

The FAO (1997) defines Aquaculture as the cultivation of aquatic organisms including fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants. The term culture implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production such as restocking at regular intervals, feeding, and protection against predators.

This cultivation also implies individual or legal ownership of the breeding stock.

c) Industrial fish farming.

This is characterized by very large production units, and by strictly economic objectives, whereas in other form fish farming is a tool of development as well as production. For a long time, it was believed that fish farming for production required only low-tech methods compared to systems that depended on external food supplies. It is not so simple. Intensive fish farming models based on advanced technologies are perhaps easier to transfer, as their main components are well defined as the farmer works in the environment where there is little (in cages placed in lakes or rivers) or no interference from the uncontrolled natural component. Production costs are higher in intensive systems but so is the yield. But there are important initial obstacles which include;

 i. There is a higher level of risk that fish farmed under an intensive system will contract diseases.

ii. The initial investment for intensive systems is very high and the venture does not become productive for servile years.

This system requires the following;

 i. Training of technicians who take time to become professionals.

 ii. Establishment of chine of sale which must include a fish processing facility and other visions for preservation and transport.

This system involves highly organized processing and marketing facilities. for example

 i. Industrial utilization sector. This converts fish to either direct or indirect uses. Examples include; canning industries and animal feed industries.

  ii. Direct utilization sector. This includes;

·  Fish smoking sector.

·  Sundried or salting sector.

·  Chilled sector such as packed (chilled) fish importers.

  Industrial uses of fish

· Production of fish meal.

· Production of minced fish products.

· Production of salted press cake.

· Production of fish protein concentrates.

· Production of oil products. (OMEGA-3 and Cod liver oil).

The significance of fishes  

 i. Source of protein. It is the cheapest compared to other protein sources such as poultry, meat, beef, pork, and mutton.

  ii. Employment. It creates employment in  various sectors of the economy such as;

· Jobs for over 500,000 fishermen in different African countries.

· Employment for workers in research institutions, universities, and education centers.

·  Sells of smoked fish, fresh fish, and chilled fish in cold stores especially engaging the women's fold.

    iii. Income generation for state and local government levels

    iv. Source of foreign exchange earnings for the government and individuals who are involved in its expiration.

   v. It gives opportunities for international co-operations in African countries such as membership of international organizations (FAO, UNDP, IFAD) these organizations are channels for the provision of funds for rural development in fisheries sectors.

  vi. Assists in rural development through direct government interventions to improve the livelihoods of fishermen and other related stakeholders.

 vii. Fishing and aquaculture contribute to food security. This is primarily done in three ways;

·  Increase food availability

·  Offers employment and income that people can use to buy other food products.

·  Provides highly nutritious animal protein and important micronutrients.

Types of cultural practices.

a) Traditional pisciculture.

This can be done in all types of water bodies where production is low. The culture depends upon utilizing naturally available food.

b) Intensive culture

This refers to the rearing of different varieties of fish depending on the demand, supply, and profit margins.

To enhance production, fish feed and organic fertilizer are essential. The perennial water body is taken into consideration. This water body is not used by anyone for cleaning, bathing, and irrigation purposes.

c) Composite culture/polyculture

It is the composition of rearing fish of different varieties depending on the demand and profit margin.

Generally, major carp (3varieties) and exotic carp (3varieties) species are considered. In this farming system, six types of species are common. Here full utilization of the feed is consumed by the fish as different levels of feeder fish exist in the pond. Hence enhancing production. Composite fish culture can be done to produce fry (young fish), fingerlings, and table-size fish.


·  Full water body utilization.

·  The farmer gets more income.

·  Production could be optimum.

·  There is a raising of multiple species in a single area.


·  It needs more income to run to business.

·  Multiple harvesting is needed.

·  It requires more time and labor.

·  It needs a large water body.

d) Integrated culture

This is the keeping of fish with other farm businesses such as rice growing, vegetable growing, cattle keeping, and poultry rearing. This practice can be done with locally available recourses.


·  Mixing of two types of farming can be done in one area.

·   There is the utilization of land and water.

·   The farmer can get an extra source of income.

·  There is more production since it has many alternatives.


·  It is tiresome.

·  Much more labor is required.

·  Much capital is needed.

e)  Mono species culture

Here, generally cut fishes or single IMC or exotic species are cultured.


· Raise single species.

· Less energy is needed

· It is easy to harvest.

· It saves time.


· Species fight for food on sort.

· Non-utilization of all water levels.

· Low production as compared to polyculture.