Today, the demand for fish and its product is growing continuously, hence there is no doubt that fish farming has become a money-making industry. However, some fish farmers are still struggling to be successful in this business as they still wonder “what is the most profitable fish to farm?” or “how to cut down on feed cost to maximize profit?”. Let’s find out the answers in my article below.
Challenges of fish farms
Farm fishing industry is a double-edged sword since it can help you sit on a goldmine or bring you closer to the abyss. Here comes the list of factors that can affect your fish farm so that you can handle them efficiently to access the profitability of the fish farming business.
Fish are too sensitive to manage
Most fish possess highly developed sense organs. Therefore, a minor mistake can lead to degradation or even mass fish deaths which may end in an enormous loss of income.
Fish farming consume significant amounts of capital
Unlike poultry or livestock, fish farming requires more thorough management strategies and tons of cash for pond building, fish feed cost, manpower used during cultivation and harvesting, and construction maintenance.
Selling fish is not easy
Due to production costs, fish from farms often cost more than fish from ponds, rivers, or sea. Consumers prefer cheaper fish, thus it is challenging to compete with other fish sellers.
All you get is flesh
If raising livestock and poultry can create by-products to sell to other farmers for extra profit (such as manure for plants), but in fishery, what you get is only flesh.
Popular fish species to farm
If you are new to the idea of fish farming, you might be wondering what fish species you should cultivate on your farm. Here is the reliable list of fish species that are suitable for aquaculture:
Catfish is one of the easiest fish species to cultivate. This kind of fish is popular around the world because of its health benefits and market demand. The three most prominent catfish species include blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish.
Atlantic cod contributes a huge quantity in the fish farming business in Northern Europe and North America’s eastern coast. The market size is from 2 to 4 kg and is achieved within 24-36 months after hatching.
Grass carp is popular as white amur in the US. This is a freshwater fish, hence the flowing water and changes in water are significant to stimuli natural spawning. According to some studies, grass carp can live an average of 5 to 9 years, with the oldest surviving up to 11 years.
Rohu farming is another lucrative business. Rohu is the most favored fish species among the cultivated Indian major carps used in carp polyculture systems. Under normal culture conditions, Rohu can attain 35-45cm total length and 700-800g in one year.
Salmon is one of the most widely consumed fish throughout the world. The three most common farmed salmon are Atlantic salmon, Chinook, and Coho. Farmed salmon are vaccinated to prevent them from disease outbreaks and rarely require additional medications.
Silver carp farming demands small capital investment. Silver carp is a freshwater species and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures (43-82°F). Pay attention to water quality to achieve a high hatching rate.
Tilapia is a well-known fish species in fish farming due to its high protein, large size, disease-resistant, and growth capabilities. It is a tropical fish, so the ideal water temperature for Tilapia is usually between 82 and 86°F.
Tuna is carnivorous which means they can eat other fish. Farming tuna can be valuable owing to strong market demand, fast growth rate, the convenient ratio of edible meat to body weight, and tolerance to wide temperature conditions. Tuna is typically farmed in net pens offshore or in recirculation systems.
What is the most profitable fish to farm?
Due to the cost of pond or tank construction, water management, and maintenance together with the cost of other assets, you may not be making a profit in the first year. However, you can normally start making significant profits from the fish farming business after more than two fish production cycles.
Profit of fish farming relies on loads of factors:
- Financial factors: feed costs, rent payment, labor costs…
- Technical and biological factors: water and temperature, the type of pond, fish diseases…
- Additional factors: location of farms, demand, and supply, special holiday celebrations…
Indeed, it is not easy to answer the question of what is the most profitable fish to farm as it depends mostly on the market demand. A fish may not do well locally but greatly on abroad.
Statistics showed that tilapia is becoming the most profitable fish to farm in many countries. It is one of the best-selling species and most widely-eaten like shrimp and salmon. On the other hand, this type of fish survives and breeds in warm water (82-86°F) and will die when the temperature drop below 55°F. Therefore, tilapia will thrive in warmer regions such as India, South Africa, Latin America, etc.
Reduce feed cost to get more profit
Feed often represent up to 70% of the operational cost for most fish farms, so appropriate feed management results in reducing feed costs, and enhancing production efficiency and profitability of farms. For most large or medium-scale fish farms, it is more economic-efficient to produce fish feed pellets by themselves rather than buying from local fish stores.
Different kinds of fish require marginally different vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Accordingly, you can customize the food for specific fish to give your fish a healthy diet and tailor the food to the exact dietary requirements of them.
Fish farming is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global food production industry. How much is it profitable – depends on many factors. Consequently, identify the most profitable fish to farm is the first step to maximize your profit margins.