Pisciculture, also known as fish farming includes breeding fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds, usually for food. The most important fish species produced in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon, and catfish.
Advantages of Pisciculture
- The aquaculture industry has created numerous jobs for people who reside in impoverished areas where unemployment is rampant. It’s highly prevalent in Asia, where it provides thousands of jobs.
- Seafood is typically loaded with protein, omega-3 fish oils and other nutrients that are highly beneficial to impoverished areas. Fish farming can increase the supply of fish available for these regions, fighting malnutrition.
- Pisciculture requires less land, water and other resources related to other forms of livestock farming.
- Another major benefit of fish farming is that fish are cold-blooded and need little attention in the winter. Because they don’t need additional energy to cope with the weather, there is more output from less input. In other words, energy is conserved.
Pisciculture in Mauritius
Pisciculture practices in Mauritius date back to the French colonization period. Fingerlings of multiple species of marine fishes were collected from the lagoon and stocked in ‘Barachois’ for fattening. Such type of farming is still practised. Species such as couscous, tilapias, dame céré, black bass and gourami were introduced in the early twenties. Certain introduced species have caused species displacement in our freshwater system.
It is high time for Mauritius to stop relying on imported fish and to have resort to more aquaculture. Aquaculture forms part of one of the key sectors identified by the Mauritian government to uplift local fish production and promote exports of locally produced seafood products. By becoming self-sufficient in our fish production thought aquaculture, the breeding of fish in traps in the lagoon for a production might range from 300 to 500 tons per unit, and in non-lagoon cage farming an approximate capacity of 2,000 tonnes per production unit. This activity will generate revenue and will ensure job creation on the island. Exporting our fish could make a positive impact to the Mauritian people, as it will be residing in Mauritius and over time will be one of the country’s largest businesses.