Starting your own aquaculture business | Part 2
Are you starting your own aquaculture business? With the right knowledge and equipment, you can make money farming fish. Going on training courses, setting up a pilot system, and choosing the right fish will help you succeed. Find equipment for sale on AgriMag and enjoy great savings.
Training and pilot systems
Before you start your own aquaculture business, it’s important to gain an understanding of fish biology and system design. It’s advisable to go on a training course where you can learn more about this type of agriculture. Start with a pilot system where you can gain skills in the practical side of fish farming. While you’ll be working on a smaller scale, you also don’t want to make your pilot system too small. Put effort into designing the system and don’t take shortcuts.
Focus on quality
Spending time and money to set up a quality system is worth the investment. Your pilot tunnel system should be a minimum of 30m x 10m. You can expect to spend between R300 000 to R400 000 for this initial setup. When you’re making your budget, you’ll need to factor in the expense of grow-out tanks and filtration. Fish and fish food also incur additional costs. While buying inferior products seems cheaper, it can cost you more in the long run and result in the failure of your system.
You can expect to face numerous challenges when you’re setting up your aquaculture business. The climate you’re farming in can result in different challenges. If you’re setting up your business where there is plenty of water, you can consider an open-pond culture system. In cold areas, the expense of maintaining the right environment for fish rules out setting up this type of business. Another common challenge is finding the right technology.
Marketing is an essential aspect of most businesses. Tilapia are not well-known locally which means that the distribution network is insufficient. Despite this challenge, tilapia is a good quality product, which can be marketed to a variety of buyers.
The type of fish you choose will depend on your location. South Africa has a varied climate that changes from season to season. Take a look at the best fish to farm in different parts of our country.
Trout is a suitable fish species to use for aquaculture. However, they are sensitive to water conditions and temperature. They thrive in cool and clear water that flows quickly. Water temperatures that exceed 21°C are likely to result in the death of these fish. In high altitudes, insufficient oxygen is problematic. It’s best to farm trout in their natural environment.
Tilapia is unlikely to survive temperatures that drop below 12°C. Even in warmer areas, cold periods during the winter months can put the survival of these fish at risk. Using an aquaculture system can help tilapia survive these cooler periods. Taking a break from fish farming during the colder months is another strategy that can be used. Areas prone to frost are not suitable for fish farming.
Now that you know how to set up your own aquaculture business, you can start by developing a pilot system. Find quality equipment for sale on AgriMag and increase your chances of being successful.