How Profitable is Fish Farming (Aquaculture) and How to Start a Fish Farm

How Profitable is Fish Farming (Aquaculture) and How to Start a Fish Farm

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Fish products are always popular with customers. For this reason, the fish farming business is a promising direction in the farming sector. Growing fish in artificial reservoirs as a business will generate good income for beginning farmers, and fish farms are definitely a very profitable business.

How profitable is fish farming? Well, it all depends on how big competition you have in your area, what type of farming and fish species have you chose. We will explain more in our article.

Given that restrictive fishing quotas and depleted resources, the fishing industry has reached its maximum in production, fish farms, also known as aquaculture, are seen as the main source of seafood for the next 20 years.

Fish farms, or ‘aquaculture’, have become a billion-dollar industry, and over 30 percent of all sea animals consumed each year are now farmed on these ‘farms’. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that the aquaculture industry is growing three times faster than the land animal industry, and fish farms will surely become even more prevalent as natural fishing fades.

Experts say that with the growth of the human population, the demand for fish increases. For example, the EU, which produces 1.2 million tonnes of seafood, has to import an additional 65 percent to meet demand.

Water farms can be located on land or in the ocean. Land-based farms breed thousands of fish in ponds, pools, or concrete tanks. The farms in the oceans are located near the coastlines and the fish on these farms are tucked into nets or net cages.

Types of aquaculture:

  • Fish farming – is a primary form of aquaculture
  • Mariculture – this branch cultivates marine organisms in the open ocean, enclosed portion of the ocean, or in tanks or ponds filled with seawater
  • Algaculture – a type of aquaculture that cultivates algae

In this article, we will mostly stick to fish farming.

Most common types of farmed fish

  • catfish
  • tilapia
  • salmon
  • trout
  • carp
  • cod

How to Start a Fish Farm

How Profitable is Fish Farming (Aquaculture) and How to Start a Fish Farm

1. You need space

Any land will do, so try and find it cheap and buy it. Depending on how big your goals are, half an acre is enough for an average fish farm. If you can, it is always better to buy bigger land, so you have a choice when making fish ponds. If your land is bigger, you can make more than one pond, and farm different fish in them, for example.

2. Construction of ponds

This is usually not something you can do on your own, so you will probably need to find some construction engineers. Maybe you could go to another fish farm and try to get from them specifications and construction requirements (not sure if someone would give that to you, but you can try).

3. Have a source of water

So it is best if you can build a fish farm somewhere near river water, or to dig a borehole. Adequate water supply is the most important thing on a fish farm. Chemically treated sources are not recommended for fish cultivation.

4. Find a fish to grow

You need to find fish you would like to grow, go to fish farms that specialize in selling juvenile fish or fingerlings, and you have to make sure you are getting that fish from a healthy farm.

5. Learn about aquaculture

Learn as much as you can about aquaculture and fish farming. If you have a choice, go to some other fish farm, and try to find a job there for a few months before you make your own farm. That way, you will work, earn money, and at the same time learn everything you need to know to run your own farm.

6. Secure capital

Well, you need some capital to start your fish farm. How much you need depends on how big you want to make your fish farm. What size of ponds or cages you want to make, what kind of fish would you like to grow, what kind of equipment, and what kind of technology you want to use.

If you go big, you will, of course, need bigger investments, but you can usually expect a bigger income from it as well. So, how profitable your farm will depend on how much money you are willing, or can invest. That is not the only thing that affects success, but it is definitely a big one.

Benefits and risks of fish farming

How Profitable is Fish Farming (Aquaculture) and How to Start a Fish Farm

Benefits of fish farming:

  • fish products are by far the most popular animal products
  • fish sells faster than any other animal products
  • fish grows very fast
  • fish farming is very profitable
  • the fish farm does not cause any environmental damage

Risks of fish farming:

  • fish is very sensitive to manage – small mistakes can cause massive revenue loss
  • you need a large capital to make fish farm
  • because of high production costs, fish produced on farms is more expensive than those caught in the sea or rivers
  • there is no byproduct in fish farms