Fish farming is the process of raising aquatic organisms commercially in a controlled or semi-controlled environment to increase productivity. It is possible to raise many different kinds of fish from table fare to exotic tropical species. Most of the peoples are growing fish for harvesting and selling to restaurants. Also, many fish farms operate as fun places where individuals and families are able to go fishing. Let us discuss about how to start fish farming business.
Fish farming is a fastest-growing food production segment in the world. Fish is a protein-rich, tasty, and healthy food with low cholesterol. So, fish and fish-related products have great demand all over the world. Fish farming has a significant role in the economy. It offers so many job opportunities in ancillary services and operations. This business demands day-to-day careful monitoring, skills, and special knowledge.
Commercial fish farming is considered as an economically profitable business venture. There are so many variety types of fast-growing species are available. So, this business ensures quick returns of your investment. The fish consumption rate is increasing every year. Irresponsible harvesting of fish leads to depletion of natural species and the extinction of some species. So, fish farming is a way to conserving species and preventing the depletion of natural resources.
How to start fish farming
People with other jobs or occupations are able to start this business. You can raise funds from investors or take a loan from the bank. We can start a fish farming business through 6 steps. They are given below.
1. Select the type of fish farming
The first thing you need to consider when starting a fish farm is the type of fish that you are going to use for farming. Selecting the right species of fish plays an important role in the success of the fish farming business. The decision should be based on a maintenance point of view, market demand, management outlook, and availability of resources, etc. Some of the popular fish farming business ideas which give good returns are given below.
- Tilapia Fish Farming
- Catfish Farming
- Crab Farming
- Carp Fish Farming
- Salmon Fish Farming
Tilapia fish farming
Tilapia is a popular fish in the market. Its large size, high protein content, quick growth (6 to 7 months), is the main reasons that making tilapia fish farming highly popular and profitable. In commercial fish farming, earth ponds are mostly used.
Commercial catfish farming is considered as profitable fish farming. The farmers are able to start catfish farming alone or in combination with other species. Also, it can be started on a small scale basis and with relatively low cost.
Commercial crab farming can be done with minimized labor and land in smaller areas and at higher densities. Mud crab is a good aquaculture species due to its price, market acceptability, and rapid growth.
Carp Fish Farming
Carp fish shows a high tendency to consume animal food, including worms, water insects, mollusks, larvae of insects, and zooplankton. These eating habits of the fish play an important role in the profitability of carp farming.
Salmon Fish Farming
Salmon farming is the production of salmon from egg to market in a container system, net-cage, or pond. Salmon fishes are carnivores. We need to use around 2 to 5 kilograms of wild fish in feed to produce one kilogram of farmed salmon.
2. Understand the target market
Business planning and feasibility analysis are important to be done before starting a fish farming business. Also, we should do deep market research before starting fish farming business. Try to understand the local market demand. If you are going to begin aquaculture for export, talk to the fish processing units beforehand. Develop an alternative marketing strategy. Consumer types will differ relied on the type of fish you are raising.
If you are raising fish for commercial food products, re-stocking, or sport, then your base will contain large businesses. It requires a higher quantity of fish. Some consumers may include state or federal organizations that re-stock natural resources. If you are raising fish for pets or aquariums, your consumer group will be pet shops and specialty fish dealers. Customers maybe choose to contact you directly to remove the mediators and to expedite sales.
3. Learn the skills required for Fish Farming
It is important to have some skills when starting a fish farming business. There are some government running farms that conduct training programs. You can attend those types of programs to learn skills. Also, we can learn skills through working at a successful fish farm. It will teach you how to perform disease control, water quality management, marketing, feeding, and processing. There are some important things that we need to pay attention to when starting a fish farming business. They are given below.
- Make sure that you have a consistent quality water source.
- Check if your water temperature is suitable for raising fish species.
- Make sure that we have easy access to the pond for harvesting and feeding.
- Test the water in which you are beginning fish farming both bacteriological and chemical.
- Understand about the modern technical method of risk management and risk assessment.
- Finding out reliable suppliers for fingerlings, fish eggs, and fish feed is important.
- Learn about permission and legal compliance needed to start a fish farming business in your locality.
4. Calculate the cost
The fish farming business includes two types of capital investment. They are fixed capital costs and operating costs. Fixed capital cost includes crafting ponds, land & building, plumbing arrangements, vehicles for transport, oxygen meters, several tanks, etc. Operating cost includes buying fingerlings or fish eggs, electricity, fish feed, labor, fuel, medicine, chemical, insurance, tax, telephone, transportation, and other maintenance cost involved.
You should prepare a detailed cost calculation of your fish farming project, before entering into the business. The calculations will vary depending on the type of fish that you are choosing for fish farming, total land area, and your desired output. Costs will vary depending on the size and scope of the project you are starting.
If you are making an aquarium based farm, you will require tanks and pumps, water aerators, fish food and refrigerators, free/eggs or initial parent fish, water testing kits and equipment, etc. If you are starting a commercial fish farm, you will require land for ponds, boat, motor, equipment for excavating ponds, aerators, reclamation devices, fish food, equipment for managing and cleaning the pond, fish processing equipment, and commercial-sized pumps, etc.
5. Select the right location for fish farming
We need to consider some factors when selecting land. It includes soil quality, size, and source of water. Choose a place that is big enough. Also, consider your future plans so that size does not limit you when expanding your business. The soil quality directly affects the quantity and the quality of fish you get. So, choose a place with high-quality soil. You must do a soil test to make sure that it is at least over 20% clay. also, check the relative level of space.
It is important to make sure that this place is not easily flooded. It will help you to prevent dirty water from entering the bond. The land should have fewer rocks. The continuous flow of water is the most important factor in fish farming. If you want to start a fish farm in the city or town area, you must have access to the municipality water source. If you want to start in a village area, it is essential to find a place near the stream, lake, or river.
6. Procurement of equipment needed for fish farming
The process of launching a fish farm is same for small and large scale farmers. Some of the basic equipment and tools required for fish farming business are given below.
- Fish counters
- Water testing equipment
- Net/ Seine reels
- Fish tanks/ Ponds
- Aeration devices
- Fish graders.
Pumps are used to pump water in or out of the pond. These pumps are well equipped. Also, it helps to make sure that you have a constant supply of water to the pond. Water testing equipment is used to help in testing the water. We can determine if the water is good for the fish by using this device.
The net collects all fish species together for the harvest. They help to catch large numbers of fish. Fish tanks or ponds are designed to raise large quantities of fish for marketing and harvesting. They are constructed to provide a better environment for the fish. Aeration equipment enables the good flow of oxygen within the pond.
Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in the current digital world. Raising fish will create so much employment. It will offer job opportunities for transporters, sellers, and farm workers. The increasing popularity of fish as food boosted the fish farming business globally. Also, so many peoples believe that eating fish will give many benefits. So there is always a stable and reliable market for the fish business.