Starting Aquaculture Farming
Aquaculture contributes greatly in satisfying consumer demand for fish. If you are interested in starting an aquaculture farm, you must understand that this business needs careful and thorough planning. We have a guide that will explain the basics of determining aquaculture product marketability, evaluating aquaculture viability, managing an aquaculture farm, and evaluating aquaculture capabilities.
Aquaculture fills a large fraction of the demand for fish for consumption. In its basic definition, aquaculture is cultivation of freshwater and saltwater organisms under controlled conditions.
Organisms in this context encompass algae, fish, prawn, and shrimp raised in tanks, ponds, or enclosures. In a special way, it includes culture of marine organisms in its habitat, an enclosed space in the ocean or tanks or ponds filled with seawater.
Determining Aquaculture Product Marketability
Generally, planning for fish production is influenced mainly by market demand. Someone wanting to start aquaculture could not just choose at random the type of species to raise. He must know whether that species has a market and whether that market can support the business profitably. In addition, he should be able to determine or predict buyer requirements in terms of volume, weight, frequency of harvest, size and price. One of the ways that this can be accomplished is by talking to other fish raisers, direct consumers, wholesalers, and owners of seafood stores, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Evaluating Aquaculture Capabilities
After selecting some species that has potential for commercial raising, a prospective aquaculturist must determine the biological and production requirements of growing each species under consideration. It is important that he determines whether he has the necessary time, facilities, equipment and knowledge to culture the species or he is willing to spend time to acquire them. Main sources for information on these are extension specialists, and research studies.
Managing an Aquaculture Farm
Aquaculture involves more than growing a species of fish. It also involves managing the entire farm, which means having to deal with salaries, overhead, feed supply, and labour. On the technical side, it involves monitoring and regulating water quality, feeding pattern, and controlling possible outbreak of disease. Also, when constructing an aquaculture farm, one must meet the customary requirements for licenses, permits and comply with federal, state and local regulations.
Evaluating Aquaculture Viability
Having evaluated these needs, one would be able to draw an estimate on how much capital would he need and accordingly make the necessary adjustments in the size and operation of the business so that it coincides with expectations. All of these are aimed at seeing the viability of the business, which should be put down into a business plan. A business plan is necessary when looking for potential investors. It is a document that will show them not only the potential of the business to generate profit, but also how the business is expected to look like in the future. Sources of outside funding include loans from banks, private investors and government funds.
For resources, visit United States Department of Agriculture.
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