Cage System in Fish production

Published: 16th July 2009
Views: N/A

Cage aquaculture has grown rapidly during the past decades and is presently undergoing swift changes in response to pressures from globalization and an escalating worldwide global demand for aquatic products.
A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that there has been a move toward clustering exist-ing cages as well as toward the development and use of more intensive cage farming systems.
In particular, the need for suitable sites has resulted in cage aquaculture accessing and expanding into new untapped open-water culture areas such as lakes, reservoirs, rivers and coastal brackish and marine offshore waters.
Lagos State, recognizing the tremendous importance of cage aquaculture today and its key role for the future growth of the aquaculture sector, recently embarked on a project to utilize the earthen ponds in rural communities that have close proximity to lagoons and other water bodies under its pet project called Marine Aqua-culture Development Project, which forms part of the Marine Agriculture Development Pro-gramme of the present government.
Marine agriculture entails the utilization of marine resources for the production of food and other agro-allied products such as the culti-vation of fishes, weeds and other useful aquatic products.
The lagoon and marine environment in Lagos State is endowed with diverse resources which need to be developed for maximum resource utilization, especially in the areas of food production. Certain means of food cul-tivation on land can better be done on water which is less competitive and is more natural to the culture organism.
The competition for land in the state, coupled with the special ecological peculiarities which favours aquatic food production, clearly justifies the need to employ Marine agri-culture as a strategy for feeding the teeming population of the state.
The Marine Agriculture Development Programme is a multi-phased agenda to increase food production in the state. The aquaculture project is the first to be established and it serves as the nucleus around which other com-ponents revolve. This is the cultivation of fish in their natural aquatic environment other than the conventional terrestrial fish farming commonly refered to as ponds. The method of fish farming is called Cage and Pen Culture System.
Cultivation in ponds uses artificially enclosed water bodies on land. Cage and Pen culture is the cultivation of fish species in natural water bodies. This involves the use of porous materials such as nets, basket net irons, among others, to encase small fishes in their natural water habitat and feed them to table size.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Kolapo-moye Ajiboso, explained that the government choose to explore the system as it can sustain the production of fish species other than catfish, especially scaly fish; stimulate economic activities in the fishing communities through the provision of alternative means of income for fishermen in the fishing communities as well as create employment for youths, thereby curbing rural- urban drift.
He disclosed that progress have been made as all par-ticipating communities and some local goverments have shown interest through the construction, mounting as well as installation of the cages in the lagoon.
With the construction of nine cages stocked with Tilapia across six local government, the management of the pilot scheme in the communities is being carried out in collabo-ration with the local fishermen who have shown great interest at replicating the cage fish culture system as it has afforded them the opportunity of diversifying the use of the body water in their localities.
Harvest have been made twice since the stocking of the cages started February this year. The first harvest was carried out at Dale Whedakoh in Badagry Local Government, one of the sites of the pilot scheme on 18th June, 2008, where a total of 1,019kg of fish was harvested.
Another feat of success was recorded last month with the harvest of over one tone of fish at the Oko-Orisan site of the Cage and Pen culture system in Epe.
Chief Kolapomoye Ajiboso, who was full of excitement at the sight of the fish, averaging 2.3 kg each, said that the project is no longer an experimental venture but a sustainable and enduring programme at eradicating poverty, unemployment and improving the nutritional intake of Lagosians.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Wale Raji, explained that the second harvest can be described as being "exceptional because the fish are just 4 months in rearing and each one averaged over 2 kilograms" He said that such feat could not have been possible in artificial fish rearing methods, a pointer to the environmental friendly benefit of the method.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore