Fish Farming as Entrepreneurial Opportunity


Fish farming or pisciculture involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds, usually for food. It is different from aquaculture, which is the farming of aquatic animals such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and so on. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species' natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species produced in fish farming are carp, catfish, salmon, and tilapia.

 

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly 32% of world fish stocks are overexploited, depleted, or recovering and need of being urgently rebuilt. Fish farming is hailed by some as a solution to the overfishing problem

 

Fish farming exists to address a fundamental problem: The demand for fish as a food source grows as the human population grows, and the number of fish available in the wild isn't keeping pace. Even in carefully managed wild fisheries, the combination of climate change, pollution, and pressure from fishermen can produce unpredictable variations in the supply of fish.

 

We are far past the days of catching fish in ponds or streams and selling at the local market as fish farming in Zimbabwe has advanced over time and farmers now grow the fishes in their farms or houses. This way they are able to control output and revenue. An increasing number of Zimbabweans are venturing into the tilapia fish farming business. The fish farming business is a very profitable business to operate in Zimbabwe. The demand for fish is increasing.

Species for Pisciculture

Tilapia 

Tilapia is the generic name of a group of cichlids endemic to Africa. The group consists of three aquaculturally important genera Oreochromis, Sarotherodon, and Tilapia. Several characteristics distinguish these three genera, but possibly the most critical relates to reproductive behavior. All tilapia species are nest builders; fertilized eggs are guarded in the nest by a brooding parent.

 

Species of both Sarotherodon and Oreochromis are mouthbrooders; eggs are fertilized in the nest but parents immediately pick up the eggs in their mouths and hold them through incubation and for several days after hatching. In Oreochromis species, only females practice mouthbrooding, while in Sarotherodon species either the male or both male and female are mouthbrooders.

Physical characteristics

Tilapia are shaped much like sunfish or crappie but can be easily identified by an interrupted lateral line characteristic of the Cichlid family of fishes. They are laterally compressed and deep-bodied with long dorsal fins. The forward portion of the dorsal fin is heavily spined. Spines are also found in the pelvis and anal fins. There are usually wide vertical bars down the sides of fry, fingerlings, and sometimes adults.

Optimal water temperature: 75 to 85 degrees

Time to reach one pound: 5-7 months

Catfish

Catfish are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers. Despite their name, not all catfish have prominent barbels or "whiskers". Members of the Siluriformes order are defined by features of the skull and swim bladder. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the larger species are farmed or fished for food. Many of the smaller species, particularly the genus Corydoras, are important in the aquarium hobby.

 

Physical Characteristics

Most catfish are bottom feeders. In general, they are negatively buoyant, which means that they will usually sink rather than float due to a reduced gas bladder and a heavy, bony head. Catfish have a variety of body shapes, though most have a cylindrical body with a flattened ventrum to allow for benthic feeding.

 

A flattened head allows for digging through the substrate as well as perhaps serving as a hydrofoil. Some have a mouth that can expand to a large size and contains no incisor teeth; catfish generally feed through suction or gulping rather than biting and cutting prey

Optimal water temperature: 75 to 85 degrees

Time to reach one pound: 8-10 months

Salmon

Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae (e.g. Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon). You can find salmon from both wild and farmed sources, but the most commercially available is Atlantic salmon which is farmed.

Optimal water temperature: 45 to 55 degrees

Time to reach one pound: 16-20 months

 

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