Commercial fishing, for centuries had mostly relied on fish stocks in oceans to satisfy man’s hunger for seafood. These wild fish stocks, especially over the past few decades have been depleted by over fishing and the affects of pollution. Industrial farming of salt water fish was incorporated to get over this shortage, and has resulted in vast fish farms operating along the coasts of most countries. These farms usually situated in rehabilitated wetlands, back waters or salt water ponds are revolutionizing the fishing industry. According to the Kenneth R. Weiss of the LA Times salmon which was “a seasonal delicacy now is sometimes as cheap as chicken and available year-round.”
Things to Do
- Planning where to raise industrial salt water fish
- Environmental clearances
- Deciding what type of fish to raise
- Disease and parasite prevention methods
- Feeding of fish
- Deal with fecal contamination and pollutants
- Improve the quality of Fish
Start this process by looking at a suitable place to raise the fish. In order to raise industrial salt water fish you need a wetland adjacent to the open sea, a back water area, or you can opt to use cages off shore. Near shore fish farming is currently thought to be damaging to the environment and www.epafi.org recommends that mariculture cages be placed 2000 to 3000 meters offshore in 30 to 50 meters of water.
Understand what environmental and government clearances you need before starting, because sometimes environmental guidelines may affect where and how you raise fish. As the environmental impact of mariculture along coasts is continuously being studied make every attempt to get an up-to-date environmental clearance.
Decide which species of fish you want to raise. Salmon is a great favorite in most fish farms as they grow fast, but sea bass and red mullet are also popular options. When choosing what fish to farm industrially, understand that each type of fish comes with its own set of difficulties and market value.
Feeding, Diseases and Quality
The intensive farming of salmon and prawns has resulted in undue strain being placed on pelagic fish species such as anchoveta and jack mackerel, as they are processed and fed to fish on fish farms. Recent studies have also linked fish feed to high levels of dioxins and cancer causing PCBs in farm bred fish. So consider if feeding your fish on shrimp rather than fish feed is a viable alternative.
An important aspect of the industrial farming of fish is that diseases and parasites abound in such enclosed spaces. As the fish are packed into close quarters and fecal matter stagnates. Salmon raised on farms also tend to have higher quantities of sea lice than those in the wild. Properly filtering ponds and fish farms with vegetation can help reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphates in the water. So install adequate devices for filtration when setting up your farm.
Additionally, appropriate pesticides and antibiotics authorized by the government have to be used, to keep the fish in good health and to deal with parasitic outbreaks. Note pesticides and antibiotics have to be used during the correct phase of breeding and harvesting, in order to ensure consumers are not affected.
The long terms prospects of industrial salt water fish farming are good as the output from such farms is growing, while wild fish stocks are shrinking.
The quality of fish produced by industrial fish farms has long been criticized. Adopting ecologically sound practices can help improve the quality, quantity and weight of the fish produced.
- Sustainability of industrial salt water fish farming
- Environmental impact
- Disease control
- Eliminating pollutants
- Long term prospects
- La Union’s mariculture zone, BFAR’s First in Luzon http://www.upd.edu.ph/~serdef/Marine%20Products%20Industry%20in%20General/La%20Union.doc.