Cage Aquaculture – UPSC GS3

Cage Aquaculture:
  • Cage aquaculture involves the growing of fishes in existing water resources while being enclosed in a net cage which allows free flow of water.
  • Cage farms are positioned in such a way to utilize natural currents, which provide the fish with oxygen and other appropriate natural conditions.

Factors Causing Cage Culture:
  • Factors such as increasing consumption of fish, declining stocks of wild fishes and poor farm economy have increased interest in fish production in cages.
  • Many small or limited resource farmers are looking for alternatives to traditional agricultural crops.
  • In view of the high production attainable in the cage culture system, it can play a significant role in increasing the overall fish production in India.
  • Removes Constraints of fish farming on land: Farming of fish in an existing water body removes one of the biggest constraints of fish farming on land, i.e., the need for a constant flow of clean, oxygenated water.
  • Least Carbon Emission: Cage culture is a low impact farming practice with high returns and least carbon emission activity.
  • Expanding Opportunities: Aquaculture appears to be a rapidly expanding industry and it offers opportunities even on a small scale.
  • Better Utilization of India’s long Coastline: Suitable locations in India’s long coastline, vast brackish water areas available in coastal states and other underutilized water bodies can be better utilized by adopting cage culture.
  • Offers alternative income Source: Since the investment is low and requires very little / no land area, this farming method is ideal for small-scale fisherfolks as an alternative income source.
  • This can be taken up as a household / women activity since labour involved is minimal and can be managed by a small family.
  • The design of the cage and its accessories can be tailor-made in accordance to the individual farmer’s requirements.
  • Feed to the caged fish must be nutritionally complete and kept fresh.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen Syndrome (LODOS) is an ever present problem and may require mechanical aeration.
  • Fouling of the net cage.
  • Vandalism or poaching is a potential problem.
  • Navigation issues.
  • Accumulation of unused feed and excreta will lead to water pollution as well as eutrophication.
  • Change in water quality parameters.
  • Conflicts within the local community.
  • Predation by aquatic mammals and birds.
  • Escapement.
  • Overcrowding of aquatic organisms in cages.

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