Fish farming has been practiced around the world for over three thousand years. Over this time, a lot has changed that has seen the fish farming industry grow tremendously. Despite the availability of different types of fish grown, tilapia has been the most popular type of fish grown all over the world. Due to its ability to adapt to different types of water including salt water and fast growth within a small space, tilapia is preferred by most farmers.
Throughout the fish farming period, tilapia farmers encountered problems that made the production of fish difficult. After several years of trial and error, more advanced technologies were invented and tilapia rearing opened a big opportunity for fish farmers.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the ways tilapia rearing transformed fish farming and growing produce but before we get into that, let us first look into early fish farming.
Early Fish Farming.
According to research, the first fish farms were developed in China and were started by local fishermen. When these fishermen caught a lot of fish, they would keep some of the fish alive inside baskets submerged under the ground so that they could be used some other time. After several years of practicing this technique, the idea of keeping fish inside water-filled ponds came into being. Fish kept in ponds last for several months before dying as compared to when they were kept in baskets. These fishermen also noticed that the fish kept in ponds increased in size and even laid eggs to give rise to young ones.
This discovery became an eye-opener to the possibility of rearing fish outside their natural habit and the journey to pond aquaculture began. From China, this method spread to several Asian countries and today, pond farms can be found in virtually every part of the world, especially the developed countries.
How did tilapia farming transform fish farming and growing produce?
Like I said before, tilapia is the first and most popular fish species reared across the world alongside other types of fish such as catfish and mudfish among others. As a result of tilapia rearing, a lot has changed in the fish farming industry and here are some of the ways tilapia has help transform fish farming.
Development of technology.
Initially, tilapia and other fish were reared in fish ponds where they were left to grow on their own with little or no care at all. However, with the development of technology, people have come up with more advanced systems for rearing fish. One such system is the recirculating system where fish is grown in high-tech fish tanks resembling ponds. Water in these tanks is constantly purified and recycled to provide clean and healthy water for fish growth. As a result, fish production has doubled and the quality of fish produced is high.
Fish feed production.
At the beginning of fish farming, fish in the ponds depended on natural growing plants in the pond and warms or insects for food. This led to slow growth of fish that affected the market price. However, through the rearing of tilapia, discoveries on appropriate fish feed were made and people embarked on the journey of fish food production. With the new discovery of fish food, farmers were now able to feed their fish well and as a result, maximum growth of fish was achieved and the market price raised. The production of fish also grew as more fish could easily be fed.
Net pens and cages.
One thing about fish tank and pond farming is that they take space on land that would have otherwise been used for other purposes. The transformation of growing tilapia in net pen s and cages within their natural water bodies has seen several fish farmers adopt the system. Cages and net pens allow fish to feed on the naturally available food alongside human food supply and have little or no effect on the fish surrounding, resulting in the high-quality production of fish. The amount of fish produced has also increased due to the availability of space in the lakes, rivers, swamps, or any water bodies used to rear fish.
In conclusion, I can openly say that tilapia rearing is the eye-opener to modern fish farming that has seen the growth of fish farming as well as fish produce.