3 Important Factors to Consider in Commercial Fish Farming
Here are some of the factors to consider when venturing into commercial aquaculture;
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Before getting started with commercial aquaculture, extensive planning should be undertaken before making any large capital investment. The planning phase entails a detailed evaluation of the economic, biological, and legal feasibility of raising a specific species of fish. The economic and biological considerations are quite important and it’s important to remember that legal constraints can limit the practice of commercial aquaculture in certain areas.
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The planning phase should include the following;
Economic feasibility analysis
Commercial aquaculture is considered to be economically feasible if the fish product can be produced at a cost that’s competitive with other sources and still be reasonably profitable. Economic considerations should therefore be undertaken based on three categories; demand, production, and marketing. Product demand should be considered based on the amount that consumers are willing to purchase, the selling price, the price of the competing products, the income and size of the consuming population.
The fish products that are likely to command high prices just like luxury food items are normally characterized by short supply. Increased production would therefore result in reduced product revenues. Other fish products that command lower prices should compete with meat products.
Marketing entails the movement of the fish products from the producers to the consumers. Marketing can be such a significant challenge to aquaculture farmers. It’s therefore advisable that the farmers get to work with an established marketing network that can easily adapt to a new aquaculture product.
In order to establish a market network for the fish products, there should be a continuous year-round supply of marketable fish. Until such can be assured a processor may be hesitant to invest in the conversion of existing equipment to be used for handling the new products.
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Water supply is a key factor when determining site selection for an aquaculture facility. A desirable water supply should have the following characteristics;
Relatively constant flow
Water temperatures should be constant or acceptable
Lower levels of harmful gases
Lower levels of siltation
Limited possibilities of wild fishes and disease introduction
No organic pollution sources or chemical
Any potential water source should therefore be adequately tested for both quality and quantity before cost analysis for the facilities is made.