What is Fish Farming • Fish farming is the main form of aquaculture-the breeding of aquatic species under controlled environments.
-There are two types of aquaculture, extensive, and intensive. -Extensive fish farming takes place in a pond like atmosphere. -Intensive fish farming is in a closed circulation water system.
There are also different types of fish farming • Integrated recycling systems- plastic pools are put in greenhouses, uses local recycled water to fill pools. Since it is in a greenhouse, the system can adapt almost all climates. • Irrigation ditch or pond systems- A pond or ditch that can retain water is the main requirement for this system. A constant control of water quality is crucial to keep the fishes electrolyte level correct. • Cage system- uses a cage in any type of existing water sources. Fish are kept in cage until they are ready to harvest. • Classic Fry Farming- fish are raised in concrete tubes with a constant flow of fresh water running through. When ready the fish are released back into fresh water.
There are differences between wild fish and farm bred fish. • The farm bred fish are much fattier than wild fish and contain less protein. • Farm bred salmon are fed dye to color them pink, otherwise the salmon would be an ugly grey color. • Many fishes that are farm bred are fed antibiotics and are exposed to many different pesticides. • Farm raised fish are raised in small compacted areas that can result in an increase chance of the fish having disease. • The farm bred fish also have less amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which is a needed fatty acid in our everyday diet.
The Effects of Fish Farming • Fish farming has many positive as well as negative effects. • Since the fish live in tight impacted living spaces, they are more susceptible to disease. In certain fish farms the disease is spread to wild fish living in nearby waters. • Toxins are stored in fat of the fish, since the fish are fed high fat diets they have higher level of toxins. • Some farm bred fish escape from their farms and begin to breed in the wild. Some farm bred fish are more aggressive and may chase certain breeds from their territory. • The Pacific salmon are at a steady decrease in population; with farm bred fish moving in on their territory, the pacific salmon will reach the point of extinction at a much faster rate.
There are small amounts of mercury found in fish. Farm bred fish have higher levels of mercury and contaminate nearby fish in the local waters. • There was a case in Hawaii where after fish farms were built two miles off the coast, there was a sudden increase in the amounts of sharks in the area.
Feeding • A high quality diet is necisarry to produce the highest quality fish possible. • From recent advancements there have been new commercial balanced feeds that promote optimal growth and health of the fish. • There is floating and sinking fish feed. Floating fish feed stays at the top of the water for fish to feed on, while the sinking fish feed falls to the bottom for fish at the bottom to feed on. This fish feed is an example of complete diets.
There are complete diets and supplemented diets. • Complete diets are the most commonly used among fish farmers. • Complete diets give the fish all they need, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. • Fish that are raised in high quantity in small spaces must be fed a complete diet • Supplemented diets, incomplete or partial diets, are intended only to support the natural food that is normally available to fish in ponds and their natural enviroments. • This diet consists of insects, algae, and small fish • Supplemented diets do not contain enough vitamins or minerals, but are fortified with extra protein, carbohydrates, and lipids.
Feeding rates and frequencies play a major part in the size and health of the fish. • Small larval fish and fry need to be fed a high protein diet usually in excess. • Small fish have a very high energy demand and are needed to be fed almost every hour. • The time, season, and temperature affect the time when the fish should be fed. • As the fish begin to grow the rate at which they are fed should be decreased, since the amount of protein and food they need is less as they grow older. • This allows fish growers to use the same feed throughout the whole growing process of the fish.
Fish are fed by hand, automatic feeders, and by demand feeders. • Many fish feeders like to feed fish by hand to assure that they are getting enough nutrients and food per day. • Automatic feeders can sometimes be inaccurate and not provide enough feed for the fish. • Demand feeders require the fish to hit a trigger to get food. • There is a small trigger that when fish swim by and hit, the feeder releases a small amount of food. If the fish do not trigger the feeder enough, the fish will not get enough food, that is why hand feeding the fish is the best way to feed the fish.
Benefits of Fish Farming • Due to the increase in demand of fish products, fish farming and aquatculture can relieve the stress off wild fish. • By breeding fish in a controlled environment people can produce a larger quantity and control the quality of fish that are produced. • There is a growing demand for fish oils and fish products. • It will relieve pressure from wild fish. Since we are breeding fish in farms, the need to fish wild fish will decrease. • Farmed fish provides a cheaper alternative for impoverished countries. • Fish Farming could help reduce starvation since food prices have been increasing recently.