How Risky is Fish Farming Business?
Farming practices & economic losses associated with tilapia mortality
Globally, fish diseases are among the major challenging factors that limit aquaculture productivity and sustainability with subsequent impact on food safety, food security, job stability, and human health. Of all cultivated fish species in Africa, Nile tilapia in particular is the cornerstone of fish farming. Recently, fish farms have experienced unusual tilapia mortality during summer season.
Theft, disease outbreaks, unforeseen harsh climatic conditions, deliberate damage, legal actions against the farm, and other pure hazards are all examples of pure risks. Flooding, drought, and silt deposition are examples of extreme climate threats. Flooding, for example, can cause ponds to be physically destroyed, fish to be lost, and viruses or predators to be introduced through floodwater. Silt deposits generate turbidity, which damages aquatic life by deteriorating spawning grounds, impairing gill function, and limiting light penetration and photosynthetic levels.
Business risks are those that have a direct impact on the fish production process and the commercial fish farming industry. They include production risks like faulty equipment, late feed delivery, a lack of technical information and expertise, unfavorable government policies, and changes in operational costs, as well as market risks like poor fish quality and consumer-related risks like changing consumer tastes, competition from alternative commodities, and health issues.
Regardless of the type of the dangers to which your farm is exposed, each has the potential to harm your investment. As a result, it’s critical to maintain a level of farming that ensures a return on investment while decreasing the risk of unfavorable consequences for your fish farm.
- Undertake regular inspection on fish farming facilities. It is possible for infrastructure to break down unexpectedly; so it is very important to inspect ponds regularly for damages to prevent the sudden collapse of ponds.
- Monitor water coming into your ponds to make sure that the quality is healthy for the fish and can sustain aquatic life.
- Equipment used within the farm to handle fish must be disinfected regularly to avoid transmission of disease-causing agents. Transfer of nets from pond to pond must be spaced out as much as possible.
- Proper management techniques such as control of stock density and nutrition that minimizes the stress of fish and maintains healthy populations in the ponds should be employed.
- When selecting a pond site, special consideration should be given to topography in order to minimize costly soil removal. The pond site should be located in a flat, well-vegetated drainage basin land, ideally above the flood plain to prevent flooding and washing away of the farm during heavy rains.
- Careful monitoring and observation of fish behaviour for any irregularity (e.g. fish off feed, erratic swimming) will provide sufficient warning that a problem is looming.
- Be sure to insure your fish farm. Knowing that fish farming is a highly profitable but risky business, the best you can do is to minimize the impact that risks have on the financial stability of your business.
- Remember that fish farming is a business that involves risks that need to be managed. Whether you are new to fish farming or you are an experienced fish farmer, it is necessary to manage the risks involved in fish farming. An insurance policy protects your farm from the impact of loss that may be sustained in the event of unanticipated disasters. With an insurance policy, you can manage your fish farm without the fear of risks.