Indoor Fish Farming Business
Fish cultivation has always been done in the open. This method faced problems that are both unfriendly to business and the environment. Lately, new technologies are emerging that allows the raising of fish indoors where farmers can control production parameters in such a way that they help the business and the environment.
Aquaculture has largely and traditionally been done in open ponds and through the use of nets, and cages in the ocean, river or stream.
The problems posed by this production system, particularly the use of nets and cages, are, mainly: the potential for escape of farmed fish into natural waters resulting to competition with wild fish and the dilution of wild fish breed; and the release into coastal water of a large amount of fish excrement that may contain chemicals. And because these systems are open to the elements, they are greatly affected by the weather. Another problem posed by this system to fish farmers is the lack of possibility to control the factors that influence production.
Solutions to these problems are being offered by new systems of farming fish indoors. These are usually sophisticated systems that may even allow the automatic collection, and processing of wastes so that they are converted into usable forms such as crop fertilizer. An indoor fish farm can be one with several tanks filled with thousands of galloons of water and equipped with high-tech filters and control mechanisms. Another indoor system that is gaining popularity is the recirculating aquaculture system. In a flow-through operation, water is used only once and then flushed out together with all the wastes contained in it. In a recirculating system, water is treated and reused.
Advantages of an Indoor System
- The fish stock is protected from predators, weather changes and natural calamities
- With high control over temperature, water quality and feeding, it is possible to produce fish faster and at any time during the year
- Closed, indoor aquaculture systems are often considered as more friendly to the environment because they require less water and result to less waste. As an alternative to marine aquaculture, it doesn’t result to the pollution of coastal waters with drugs, chemicals and antibiotics
- It avoids the usual danger of fish escapes associated with traditional open net pens and cages system of fish farming in coastal waters
- It allows higher stocking densities, requiring smaller spaces and lesser management needs. As such, it can save a farm owner labor and time to manage a farm
- It allows production facilities to be near the market, saving transportation costs
Indoor Fish Farming Disadvantages
An indoor system, however, is not without its tradeoffs. One being that it requires constant supply of electricity to operate. Also, it needs infrastructure work to set up, which also needs some energy input. Infrastructure and energy use translates ultimately to cost. In addition, if the fish raised in enclosed systems are carnivorous, they would require the capture of a large amount of other fish for their diet. This aspect of aquaculture is criticized as being unsustainable.
Overall, indoor fish farming system offers the possibility for a fish farmer to have more control over his farm and researches are being done to mitigate the disadvantageous aspects of this method.
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