What is the most profitable fish to farm?

Tilapia farming is extremely lucrative, and tilapia farming is growing day by day in India.

The Pioneer estimates that India is geographically poised to be the world leader in the fisheries field.

With its extensive coastline of 7,517 km and an EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of 200 nautical miles, a network of lakes, rivers and numerous other inland water bodies, it is the world’s largest peninsula and can easily surpass any other country in fish production.

In rural India, a vast population, especially the young generation, can be deployed in the fishing industry.

Over the years, with many Indian brands on the preferred list of Europe, America and other highly developed nations, Indian seafood exports have been growing. In 2014, Indian seafood exports crossed five billion dollars.

The country’s poverty-stricken and protein-deficient population will find a source of income and sustain safe lives from fish farming as well. As compared to any other commercially available food items, the nutritional value of fish and other marine products has been calculated and proven to be one of the best.

The current consumer demand is for processed seafood worldwide and in India as well. Processing and value addition may be done in MSME units once the source has been taken care of.

Ideally, India needs to concentrate and specialise primarily on some high-value species, most climate-friendly for farming on Indian soil and available in our EEZ, such as various varieties of tuna, and we can implement large-scale tilapia farming in a planned manner in addition to shrimp.

Anyone can make a six-figure income in the tilapia industry, and you do not need a college degree to do it.

Tilapia farming, which started in most countries in the Middle East and Africa, has now become the most profitable industry. After crab, tilapia has become the second most common seafood, which is why its production is flourishing. The list of best selling species, such as shrimp and salmon, has been added.

China is the main producer of tilapia. Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan also have the world’s largest supply of tilapia. Tilapia is cultivated in approximately 85 countries and approximately 98% of the tilapia produced in those countries is grown outside their original habitats.

The Nile Tilapia/Nile Perch, which accounts for approximately 75 per cent of farmed tilapia, is the most popular breed of tilapia farmed around the world. Tilapia is tolerant of a range of conditions for aquaculture; it can be grown in brackish or salt water and in pond or cage systems as well.

It’s seasonal for Tilapia. Only in warmer water will it live and breed. For a tilapia plant, the optimal water temperature is 82-86 degrees. The fish will begin to die below 55 degrees, and you will see a decrease in the rate of growth. India is, therefore, ideal for tilapia farming.

Three months until she is large enough to feed, Tilapia begins breeding. It has an exceptionally high rate of breeding. Up to 100 fries per week can be produced by an adult tilapia female fish. By making use of hormones to breed male tilapia, several breeders handle the breeding.

Many farmers in the grow-out process prefer to hold only male tilapia. As they grow larger and are more time- and energy-efficient, male tilapia has proven more lucrative. Because of breeding, female tilapia tend to waste energy and time.

Tilapia is the world’s second-most farmed fish, but commercial tilapia farming is limited in India. Although this fish was introduced long ago in India (in 1952) and the Fisheries Research Committee of India banned tilapia in 1959, tilapia farming has recently been allowed under some conditions in some states. With some guidance, genetically improved tilapia (GIFT) farming was accepted.

During the late 1970s, the Nile Tilapia was introduced to India. In 2005, the Yamuna River harboured only a negligible quantity of Nile Tilapia, but its proportion increased to approximately 3.5% of the total fish species in the river within two years.

At present, the proportion of tilapia in the Ganga river system is approximately 7 per cent of the total fish species. The optimum temperature for optimum growth is 15 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius for tilapia farming in India. Tilapia, however, can live from 10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.

Because of their unconditional propagation, numerous aged and sized tilapia fish in the same pond are the biggest challenge in tilapia farming. As male tilapia grows faster compared to female tilapia, the separation of females known as “monosex tilapia fish farming” should consider raising male tilapia.

As the male tilapia is well-adopted for supplementary feeding, there is a huge benefit in commercial tilapia farming due to its rapid growth. In both local and foreign markets, this fish is in very high demand. It is very important for the rapid growth and higher body weight of fish to provide nutritious food for commercial tilapia production.

Tilapia eats plants, enjoys duckweed rich in protein (equal in protein to commercial fish feed) and even uses tiny combs in its gills to filter algae from water. It is nice to combine duckweed and commercial fish feed, but tilapia only grows well on duckweed alone.

As demand for fish is increasing, it has become important to diversify species in aquaculture by adding more species to increase production levels. It is beneficial to incorporate tilapia into our cultural structures because it represents a lower level in the food chain and thus its culture would be economical and eco-friendly. Tilapia’s mono sex culture is beneficial because of higher development and males’ larger and more uniform size.

Only four classes of fish farmers, Aresen Bio Tech, AP, Vijayawada; Ananda Aqua Exports, Bhimavaram, AP; Indepesca, Mumbai; CP Aqua (India), Chennai; and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), the Marine Products Export Development Authority’s (MPEDA) research and development arm, have already been approved by the Government of India to grow seeds and farm tilapia (mono-sex and mono-culture Nile/GIF)

The company of Mono sex tilapia fish farming is rising increasingly day by day because it is very profitable. If you are planning to go into large-scale tilapia fish farming, commercial farming subsidies are available.

A tropical species that likes to live in shallow water, Nile tilapia is. It is an omnivorous grazer feeding on detritus-related phytoplankton, periphyton, aquatic plants, tiny invertebrates, benthic fauna, detritus, and bacterial films. In wetlands, sexual maturity is attained at the age of 5-6 months. When the water temperature reaches 24oC, spawning begins.

After hatching, the female incubates the eggs in her mouth and breeds the fry until the yolk sac is consumed. Infertility is proportional to the female’s body weight. A 100-g female can produce around 100 eggs per spawn, while 1,000 to 1,500 eggs can be produced by one weighing 600-1000 g. The tilapia of the Nile can live longer than 10 years and reach a weight of more than 5 kg.

The key benefit of ponds is that, by fertilisation, fish can be grown very cheaply. For tilapia cultivation, several different kinds of ponds are used. Low input ponds with unregulated breeding and erratic processing are the most common but most unproductive; yields are usually 500-2000 kg/ha/yr of uneven-sized fish.

Yields can be up to 8,000 kg/ha/yr of even sized fish if mono-sex fish are stocked and daily manure and supplementary feeding is practised. The poly-culture of tilapia in freshwater ponds with other native fishes is also widely incorporated into agriculture and animal husbandry.

Thanks to the Fisheries Department of Odisha, tilapia farming in the state has already been established. This will enrich both the farming and MSME sectors. However, for the successful implementation of tilapia cultivation, processing and exports, the main problem of need-based and timely funding needs to be overcome.

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