Areas Of Specialization In Fish Farming

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Are you interested in fish farming but you don’t know or you’re confused on the area to specialize?  Don’t worry, I got your back. This article will provide you with right information on the areas of specialization in fish farming, so you can make informed decision on the area to get into in the fish farming value chain. 

Table of Contents 

  • Introduction 
  • Areas of Specialization in Fish Farming 
  • Conclusion
Fish farming simply means the farming of fish and other marine organisms. It basically involves the cultivation of freshwater and saltwater animals in a controlled environment. 

Nigeria is currently the largest market for fish products in Africa. Researches have revealed that fish farming is the only way to bridge the gap between total fish demand and total domestic fish production. According to these researches, Nigeria went into fish farming as a result of decrease in supply from ocean fishes due to over fishing, consumer population increase, habitats destruction and pollution. Nigeria consumes about 2.97 million metric tons of fish per year but produces only about 1.07 million metric tons annually leaving a huge deficit of about 1.9 million metric tons to importation with import bill of $1.2b. Even the 1.07 million metric tons produced locally, only about 313,231 is produced through aquaculture, about 759,828 metric tons is through fisheries. 

Solutions to Fish Farming Problems in Nigeria

Areas Of Specialization In Fish Farming 

1. Hatchery and Fingerlings Production

Fish hatchery is a farm where fish eggs are hatched through artificial means. The newly hatched fish offspring which are still at larvae stage are called hatchlings. Fingerlings are fish offspring between 6-8 weeks old. Fish hatchery and fingerlings production is a business of hatching fish eggs using artificial means and managing the larvae to fingerling stage. 

With the ongoing revolution in the Nigeria fish farming or aquaculture industry, hatchery and fingerlings production is becoming a lucrative business. Fish farming begins from hatchery and fingerlings production. Fish farms depend on hatchery and fingerlings producers to get stocks for their farms. Inadequate and poor quality of brood stock is one of the problems of fish farming in Nigeria. So Nigeria’s aquaculture industry needs production of qualitative and quantitative fish fingerlings. Read How to Start Hatchery and Fingerlings Production Business in Nigeria to learn more. 

2. Fish Rearing

Fish rearing is the rearing of fish from fingerling stage to maturity in a cultured environment. 

3. Fish Feeds Production

There are two types of feed which can be used to feed cultured fish:  the natural foods and the artificial /formulated feeds. Commercial fish farms depend on formulated feeds to feed the fish. More than 70% of artificial feedstuffs are imported. This presents a business opportunity for one to venture into. One can either go into production of the feed or marketing of the feeds. In subsequent article I will write on how to produce fish feeds. 

4. Processing and Preservation of Fish Products 

This involves drying, smoking and refrigerating of fish. You can choose one. People who dry or smoke fish and package them for sale are making money. Cool room or cool van operators make money to. You can combine processing and preservation with marketing and distribution. 

5. Marketing and Distribution of Aquaculture Products

Going by the statistics of fish consumption in Nigeria, fish marketing is a very lucrative business. Marketing is very important in fish value chain because it is the means by which the fishes get to the consumers, it encourages the fish farmers to produce more as they earn money from it. Fishes are vulnerable to tissues decomposition and microbial spoilage because they begin to depreciate as soon as they are harvested from the water. Therefore, two most important facilities you will need for fish marketing are cold room and reefer vehicle for preservation and save storage and transportation of the aquaculture products. Cold room will serve as warehouse or store as well as preservation facility. Reefer vehicle is a vehicle with refrigerator. 

Conclusion 

Having players in all the areas in the fish farming value chain will help in the implementation of the backward integration and harness the opportunities in the fish farming business. 

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