Fish Farming In Nigeria — All You Need To Know

Fish Farming In Nigeria — All You Need To Know
Fish Farming In Nigeria — All You Need To Know

Fish farming in Nigeria is a well-known agribusiness in the country, and it has been on the rise due to the need for healthy animal protein.

Most interestingly, fish farming business is never a seasonal agribusiness like we see in the other kinds of farming. Having said that, it could be done in arid or rainy season.

Fish farming is all about culturing fishes, and in Nigeria, so many people who are actively into the fish farming business absolutely do so for profit-making.

Fish farming problems
Table size catfish

In Nigeria, over 80% of fish farmers choose to practice catfish farming, as it’s the most common type of fish used in aquaculture in the country.

Just as previously stated, the fish farming business is one of the most popular agribusinesses in Nigeria for various good reasons.

A Practical Guide On Fish Farming in Nigeria

Gladly, the fish farming business can be practiced in all towns, cities or/and villages across Nigeria. This means that you can choose to practice such agribusiness in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Benin and in all parts of Nigeria.

More so, in Nigeria, the insatiable need for fishery produce or products like Salmon, Catfish, and Tilapia has increasingly self-promoted the constant expansion and growth of the fishery industry.

While on this case study, it’s paramount to know that fish farming business thrives in most parts of Nigeria especially in the South-West, South-South, South-East, and even the North-Central.

However, in Nigeria, the most common and cultured fish species are catfish and tilapia, although Nigeria has the potentials and environment that provides supports for the farming of other tropical species of fish.

Fish farming problems
A catfish

Unfortunately, the core factors resulting in failure in fish farming in Nigeria are the quality of:

  • Fingerlings,
  • Quality of Water
  • Fish seeds
  • The water pH level
  • Ammonia
  • Dissolved oxygen in the water
  • Cleanliness of the farm [and more].

Without doubts, fish is a crucial food source for many people in Nigeria –estimated at 186 million people. Increased fish production and consumption also tend to result in nutrition insecurity and alleviation of food.

The following reasons are why fish farming in Nigeria is said to be one of the most common, or rather popular agribusinesses related to agriculture in the country:

  1. Fish is the key source of protein, and other elements for our health
  2. Fish meat is also a popular product
  3. It is easily sellable
  4. Most of fish species mature so fast [and lastly]
  5. The practice of fish farming has no environmental hazards.

As you now know, all of the aforementioned reasons support the profitability of the fish farming business.

In addition, the most common types of fish for fish farming in Nigeria are Catfish, Tilapia, and Mackerel [also known as Titus].

Importance Of Fish Farming In Nigeria

Dietary Nutrition

Fish plays a vital role in the diet of the Nigerian citizens. Fish and its products supply over 60% of the net protein intake in adults, particularly in rural regions.

Employment Generation

The production of fish occupies an undeniable position in the basic sector providing direct employment for over a million citizens of the country.

Source Of Income

Fish farming agribusiness is lucrative, as several fish farms are established yearly to produce fish. More so, rivers and streams are constantly utilized as regular fish ponds thereby yielding revenue to the individual fish farmer or/and other resource holder.

Attracts Government Support

The government of Nigeria has instilled a proactive policy on the fish farming business. Additionally, the implementation of a new import quota regime for fish has been published.

Therefore, the importance of the fish industry in Nigeria to the sustainability of animal protein supply can never be stressed, as fish farming itself has gained high prospects across the country.

Types Of Fish Farming Seen In Nigeria

The most popular fish species reared in Nigeria are Catfish, Tilapia, Carp and Salmon.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria

Due to the popularity of the catfish breed, catfish farming is known to be the most common aquaculture agribusiness in Nigeria.

In fact, Catfishes are the most popular fishery products found in African meals at various hotels, restaurants, events, households etc.

Catfish farming
Catfishes in a bowl

Catfish farming is special because of its market demand, and also its easy rearing nature which makes several aquaculture farmers choose it over other fish breeds.

More so, It can be cultured specifically on a small or large scale. Catfish farming further involves creating ponds, breeding juvenile or fingerlings up to maturation stage.

Tilapia Farming in Nigeria

Tilapia fish farming business is practised with freshwater fishes inhabiting shallow ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes.

In addition, they are globally of increasing importance in aquaculture systems. Again, Tilapia are lucrative breeds for fish farmers to raise in that they grow rapidly, thus, tolerating high stocking densities and poor water quality.

Tilapia fish
Tilapia fish

Salmon Farming in Nigeria

Salmons (which is also called mackerel) are normally freshwater fishes that migrate to the ocean, and return to freshwaters when they are ready to reproduce.

In as much as they are usually gotten in the wild, they can also be cultured in fish farms.

In Nigeria, Salmon fishes account for a very high percentage of fishery products consumed in the country.

Additionally, they are commonly called “Titus” in Nigeria and are bought by millions of households daily.

Catfish Breeding in Nigeria

Before diving into catfish farming in Nigeria, you must first ensure you have gotten the fingerlings.

Fingerlings can be acquired via artificial propagation in the hatcheries by hormonal induction. More so, If you plan to produce your own fertilized eggs, then you could make good use of the homoplastic pituitary gland suspension.

Well, in Nigeria, it’s quite very affordable than the imported hormonal analogues.

Inasmuch as fish farmers say that they’re more reliable, and despite the beauty of induced spawning, there are situations which you must face (which may either be biotic or/and abiotic situations).

However, these challenges all have their root in the extra care required to be given to the fry during its first week of life.

Regardless, you may have to battle with the supply of zooplankton which serves as feeds for the larvae, fry, and fingerlings thereby playing the core role in their growth and survival.

Water Quality Management In Catfish Rearing

On the other hand, there is also the challenge of cannibalism, heavy predation by frogs, or aquatic insects, and abiotic situations like dissolved oxygen (>4.5mg/L-1), water temperature, and levels of ammonia. You must ensure that the broodstock in use for breeding must be between 0.3kg and 2kg.

In Nigeria, the Catfish feeds could either be locally produced or imported.

As the case maybe, the fish feed must contain nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fat and oil, vitamins, including water.

In summary, fish feeds and the feeding mechanism are so crucial in that it takes between 60 to 70% of the net production cost, thus, if you can handle your feeds and feeding well, for surety, you must break even and make a huge gain.

Fish Farming In Nigeria — All You Need To Know
Fish Farming In Nigeria — All You Need To Know

And for the records, Catfish enjoy eating early in the morning and evening, so you ought to be extremely careful not serve them mouldy or expired feed.

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