Marketability of fish primarily depends on its freshness. Fish caught from afar and brought to market centers are preserved through chilling, freezing, or icing. Other preservation practices are smoking, salting and canning. Strictly speaking, preserved fish is not fresh because its rate of decomposition is merely suspended. Real fresh fish, therefore, are those newly caught ones.
Abundance of fresh fish in a locality can be facilitated through the construction of backyard or community fishponds. This scheme needs low investments but the profits are high.
Sizes of fishponds vary. A backyard fishpond requires a minimum size of 50 square meters (sqm) while a community fishpond requires 5,000 sqm.
Before construction, it is important to have clean flowing water to irrigate the pond. Flowing water prevents the breeding of bacteria that attacks the fish. This facilitates water aeration which is equally indispensable. If flowing water is not available and the pond is supplied with water in a motorized pump, make sure that the water is changed from time to time.
There are two types of fish pond construction. Either can be used for backyard or community fishpond.
The first type is called the dug out excavated type. Dig the soil to a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 meters. Build two-meter high perimeter dikes around the pond using the soil removed from the excavation. Firm up the inner sides of the pond by pressing with a board or a heavy log.
The second type is called the dug-out concrete type. The manner of initial construction is the same as the first type. Here, however, the inner sides of the pond are lined with 4″ x 8″ x 16″ hollow blocks and masonry.
Fill the pond bottom with gravel then plant tape grass, water lily, kangkong or parrot’s feather.
Provide the pond with two pipes opposite each other. One serves as the inlet pipe where water comes in and the other serves as overflow where water comes out. The pipe should measure at least three inches in diameter.
Apply chicken manure to fertilize aquatic plants in the pond. These natural foods are important for fish growth. Aside from these natural feeds (including worms and insects), supplement feeding with corn grits, sorghum, ground fish, animal meat, kitchen leftover, rice bran and corn meal.
Kinds of fish that can be raised in these types of fishpond are carp, tilapia and hito.
Production yield can reach up to 25 kilograms (25 kg) in six months or 50 kg in one year from a backyard fishpond, and 250 kg in six months or 500 kg in one year from a community fishpond.
Source: Agribusiness Opportunities Marid Digest
Photo: rev_adan flickr.com