Although the spotlight is often deservingly on Tilapia farming, Catfish farming offers aquaculture a solution even more technically and economically attractive.
With population growth increasing, food stocks running low and land availability for agriculture and grazing depleting, aquaculture has become a vital source of food production.
Aquaculture - Tilapia Farming
Tilapia are amongst the most commonly farmed fish.
However, Tilapia farming presents various vital signs needing close and constant monitoring to ensure successful and consistent yields. For this the farm needs trained staff capable of supervision, identifying issues, and prompt action.
Tilapia farm projects must deal with algae control and water decolouration, managing oxygen and iron content in water, excessive ammonia content, the presence of Hydrogen Sulphide in water, black mud build-up in ponds, and the growth of larger aquatic plants in ponds.
All of which need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently when they present themselves if project failure is to be avoided.
Aquaculture - Catfish Farming
The Sharptooth Catfish on the other hand is a great alternative to Tilapia, while Catfish farming in general presents fewer issues and many benefits.
- While female Tilapia produce 200-1000 per spawn, Catfish produce more than 100 000 eggs every 2 months. This means a small hatchery can produce a huge number of fingerlings / baby fish.
- Catfish can be farmed at a density exceeding 500kg/m3 without aeration as they are air breathing, allowing a high stocking density which lowers infrastructure costs.
- Their growth is exceptionally fast, reaching over 1kg in 6 months or 2kg in 8 months.
- Their air-breathing ability means they can be transported in minimal water yet freshness is assured right up until slaughter.
- Catfish provide two long, boneless fillets which can be prepared for the table in many ways, besides their very mild fishy flavour supports use in products not normally associated with fish.
Aquaculture in South Africa & Africa
Like Aquaculture Innovations, AquaVentures firmly believes that aquaculture is the key to assuring protein security for the African continent and, as the cheapest fish to farm, Catfish deserve close attention.
Allen Associates – Aquaculture equipment and training South Africa
Aquaculture Innovations provide comprehensive courses on aquaculture. More information about these courses can be obtained by contacting them here.
Allen Associates AquaVentures is your source for the supply and installation of Charmel Irrigation & Agricultural Controllers (CIAC) - modular, industrial-quality, automated aquaculture and aquaponics systems.
For more information about aquaculture and the CIAC equipment, please contact us.
*We acknowledge information derived from Aquaculture Innovations Jan 2019 Newsletter