Cage fish farming prospect bright in Rajshahi, Ch’nawabgonj Rivers
6 October 2015, Nirapad News: Cage culture has bright prospects of yielding around 10,000 metric tons of additional fishes valued at around Taka 150 crore only in two rivers of Rajshahi and Chapainawabgonj districts annually.
Prospect of commercial fish farming in river and different other open water bodies is always bright that can supplement the government effort to boost fish production in the region to meet up its nutritional deficiency.
The fisheries expert says one of the most significant factors to consider while starting cage fishing is the depth of the water body. Ideally, the cage depth should be about 8m deep. The other factors are circulation of water currents, which may be hard to determine in ponds.
“One should also look at temperatures and the presence of dissolved oxygen to enable fish to breathe. All these conditions cannot be met in a fish pond. The ocean or sea is also not a viable place because of the many predators.”
In Chapainawabgonj, monosex tilapia fish farming in floating cage method is increasing day by day. By dint of its more profit, the method is gaining popularity among the people yielding more than 54 metric tons of fishes annually. The number of fish farmers has been enhanced during last couple of years supplying fishes to different areas after meeting local demands.
District Fisheries Officer Ekramul Haque told the journalists that the fish yield could be enhanced to a greater extent if the supervision process is ensured properly.
Some enthusiastic youths began monosex tilapia fish farming in cage method in Mohananda River adjacent to Namorajapur, Namonimgachhi, Police Line, BGB Camp, Shaheber Ghat, Moharajpur, Bhaigyabanpur and Haripur area in 2010.
Shahidul Islam Mithun, one of the youths, have now become successful in this field. At present, he is farming fish in 35 cages through investing Taka 35 lakh and making profit of Taka three lakh after every three months.
Mithun says locally many people are coming towards fish farming in cage method. They are making profit economically.
Alamgir Hossain, another farmer of Namogachhi village, said he has been farming fish in 20 cages for last one and half years. He invested Taka six lakh and earns at least Taka 50,000 per month.
“We have found the potentiality after assessing outcomes of a pilot project of cage fish culture along the Mohananda River, adjacent to the town,” Dr Amimul Ehsan, Senior Fisheries Officer of Sadar Upazila and Technical Adviser of the scheme, said.
In the preliminary stage, an experimental unit of 10 cages was commissioned. Only monosex tilapia was promoted for rearing as its survival capacity is comparatively higher amid disfavourable condition than any other species.
Farmers are happy with the output of tilapia culture, which requires small time and effort to get results and have a good demand in the market.
The fish species that supplies essential nutrients-in particular vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc-broods to the rural poor suffering from under-nutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies(‘hidden hunger’).
As an effort to conduct a feasibility study of commercial fish farming in floating cages in the Mohananda River, the project has been initiated ever first in the northwest Bangladesh. By which, a demonstrative system of cage fish culture in the flowing river has been established.
Thereby, unemployed youths, fishermen and local people would be encouraged towards such type of money-making activities in the days ahead. Besides, students and researchers from the concerned departments, colleges and universities will avail the scopes of sharing knowledge being learnt from the venture.
As a whole, the intervention is being adjudged as a collective effort of boosting fish production. In addition to the commercial forecast the project has an amusement outlook.
Dr Ehsan said around 10 metric tons of fish valued at around Taka 15 lakh can be harvested from per unit annually if water level remains optimum alongside free from infection of any disease. A farmer can easily make neat profit worth Taka 35,000 with primary investment of Taka four lakh in every month.
There is prospect of commissioning of at least 700 to 1000 units in the Padma and Mohananda rivers from where around additional 7,000 to 10,000 tonnes of fish valued at around Taka 100 to 150 crore can be harvested every year.
To this end, the policy planners and others concerned should come forward with positive mind. The existing constraints are needed to be addressed to materialize the prediction.