Fish Farming and its Importance
Fish has been an important source of food for centuries and contribute around 50 percent of total animal protein in the diets of many Africa’s (FAO, 2003). At the global level, aquaculture fish production constituted 42.2% of global production totaling 158 million tons in 2012 from capture fisheries and aquaculture (FAO2014). In 2010, Asia accounted for 89 percent of world aquaculture production and this was dominated by the contribution of china, which accounted for more than 70 percent to global aquaculture production (FAO, 2012). Aquaculture also plays an important role in providing a livelihood to millions of people around the world in 2004, FAO (2014) established that 4.5 million of people were engaged directly in aquaculture with most of these located in the developing countries.
2.2 Catfish Farming
Production of marketable fish begins with the stocking of fry or juveniles into a rearing environment that assures optimum and rapid growth to allow harvest in the shortest possible time. These fish seeds can come wild capture and hatcheries (FAO, 2003). Among the cultured fish species (Clariasgariepinus) which do not normally reproduce spontaneously in captivity (FAO, 2003). The maturation process of Clariasgariepinus are influenced by annual charge in water temperature and photo period. The triggering of spawning is caused by a raise in water level due to rainfall (FAO, 2012) Catfish does not have potential care for ensuring the survival of its offspring except by the careful choice of a suitable site.
Catfish production has been seen as a viable investment by the investors apart from the fact that it provides cheap and quality protein, create employment as well as constitutes on important element in the social stability and progress of the people in Nigeria. All these indicated that catfish production can go a long way in the attainment of the millennium development goals., currently about 90% of farmed fish in Nigeria is catfish. During the last four years, almost all hatchery infrastructures and table fish production system have exclusively targeted towards catfish production. The emergence of high volume producers who have invested in intensive recirculation and flow through fish production system have been largely responsible for the phenomenal increase in the volume of production of both fingerlings and table fish.
The success of any fish operation depends on the availability of a steady supply of fish larvae for on-growing to market size (FAO, 1996). The rearing of the larvae to the fry stage is the most critical in the cycle of fish seed production in hatcheries, therefore, the rearing of the larvae under controlled hatchery conditions requires the development of specific culture techniques.
Reproduction techniques is one of the factors that affect the performance of any fish farm as it can either be natural or artificial. The output of natural propagation in fish is very low and cannot meet that protein requirements of its consumers (FAO, 1996). In view of this, on artificial propagation techniques under more controlled conditions has been discovered to produce reliable sources of fish fried and fingerlings distribution centre (FAO, 1996).[NewsNaira]