PROBLEM AND PROSPECT OF FISH FARMING IN NIGERIA
THE NATURE OF FISH FARMING DEVELOP MENT IN NIGERIA
Fish farming is the field of profession which focuses on the rational rearing of fish within an fairly shallow body of water where all the life processes of the fish can be monitored and controlled.
It is an important revenue earning sector especially at such a time when the nation seek to diversify its productive base from the monolithic nature of total dependence on the oil sector to other sectors like agriculture. It also facilitates the nation towards achieving its goals of food security, generate employment, save foreign exchange and generate foreign exchange revenue through the exportation of fish and fish products.
Ayinla (2012), stipulated that aquaculture is the fastest growing food producing sector in the world; and that aquaculture production shall likely double within the next fifteen years as a result of market increase in demand of cultured fish and wild fisheries approaching their biological limits. In Nigeria the supply of fish is less than demand. Nigeria is a good site for fish farming because it is a coastal state surrounded in the South by the Atlantic Ocean.
With a land mass of 923,766 km2, and 1.75 million hectares. The fish farming business is a lucrative means of alternatively meeting the nation’s development for self-sufficiency .Fish farming is a reliable business because of its high return on investment and low capital intensity, relative to capture fisheries. Currently the federal government intends to actively develop the fish farming sector to cope with the increasing demand for fish and fish products.
However opportunities for exploitation exist in the fisheries subsector. While it is viewed as a source of livelihood for people in the coastal areas. There the need to sustain wild fish stocks. Hence the need for long-term investments in fish farm development.
Intervention activities can be in the areas of planning, ecosystem-based resource management, post harvest sector, human resource development .The bulk of Nigerian fisheries is gotten from the following sources marine capture, inland capture, aquaculture (commercial and subsistence).
Which also takes into consideration the landings of Distant-Water Vessels (imports) .There has been a conscious effort for fish farm development in Nigeria. This is attributed to increase in output of domestic fish production due to the establishment of fish farming across the country in recent years. However, the domestic fish farming business has not been fully exploited to reduce the dependency on imported fish.
Marketing is a vital part of fish farming business because it is through marketing that the fish gets to the final consumers. Marketing encompasses all the processes involved from the production of a commodity until it gets to the final consumer. Major factors to consider include seasonality, scarcity and means of preservation which are the main problems of fresh fish marketing.
Transportation also plays a vital role as it is observed to be a major factor in fish marketing and distribution in Nigeria. Many fish sellers travelled by road, therefore it is pertinent to decide on proper road network to enhance the effective distribution of the product to the final consumers.
Fish transportation cost should be kept minimal. The farmers may prefer to sell the fish at the farm gate at a selling price that does not compare favorably well with fish sold in the market.
It is pertinent that the government should provide new roads and maintain existing ones to enhance effective distribution and marketing of fish and fish product. Fish Farmers also have great opportunities to explore in the international market. Adedeji and Okocha, (2011) stated that it is vital to disseminate information gotten from research or from local technical Knowledge of farmers.
The output of the Research may be applied on fish farming systems. Research and extension methods with interdisciplinary work teams working with farmers are necessary to evaluate and develop production systems and extension methods appropriate to the fish farmers.
Fish Farming wastes and the environment
Fish Farming increases wastes output, which has greatly consequences on the public. The release of this waste on a continual basis leads to a buildup of some pathogenic organisms and result in the outbreak of epidemic disease. The environmental impact of Fish Farming wastes include:
Eutrophication: When Ecosystems of water body is disturbed by nutrient-rich fish farm effluents, it displays a typical reaction or shift in the river continuum.
Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) level: This condition imposes stressful condition for the fish. The Release of fish farm wastes into the aquatic ecosystems leads to overproduction of organic matter and decomposition which leads to reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations (5 mg-1) in the bottom water strata,
Production of toxic micro-organisms: Constant
Fish farm effluents flushing into the receiving waters have been reported to results in the stimulation of the production of some toxic algae such as cyanobacteria, din flagellates and
Direct toxicity on aquatic animals: Fish farm wastes directly result in deleterious effect on aquatic animals, particularly fish and fish food organisms.
Disruption of fish assemblage in the wild: Fish farm waste leads to Disruption of fish assemblage, and changes in the population of various species of fish in the natural environment
Decline of the aesthetic value of the environment: Continuous discharges of Fish farm waste lead to the reduction of the aesthetic value of the environment.
Other challenges include
Seeds scarcity and inadequacy
Technical problem associated with production and management
The proper harnessing of Fish farms constitutes a new investment source, and assures the fish protein deficit of Nigeria.
(a)The formulation of national strategies, policy and legislative frameworks by the government is essential for fish farm development plan.
(b) The need for Advance research is required on feed and fish seed
Genetic engineering is required for following the African catfish,
Clarias gariepinus, Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus;
(Obokun), tilapia spp, African freshwater prawn;
(c) The need exist for infrastructure
Development to facilitate fish farming in the rural areasin the rural areas to make aquacultur rural-based.
(d)Banks should mitigate the collateral requirement for loans to enable fish farmers access credit facility
(e) The governmentshould formulate policies that is favourable for fish farm developement
(f) An enabling Environment should be provided by the government for private sector-driven fish farming business.
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