The pond system
The oldest form of fish farming is the pond system, which originated thousands of years ago. Pond farming includes earthen ponds, ditches, or canal systems where clay-based soil can easily be diked to make walls.
Of course, more sophisticated methods might be deployed on today’s industrial scale, but it is important to note that pond systems are often relied upon in developing countries, where wild fish shortages can have serious nutritional consequences. The fact that they are independent and can be used for several different types of fish simultaneously makes them the best choice for farmers.
Ponds have a lot of potential if done right. Because they are located inland, or at least isolated from larger bodies of water, it is relatively simple to send wastewater to side ponds for treatment, or to use as fertilizer. This greatly reduces the negative impact of pond fencing on the natural environment.
Some types of fish farming show great promise for reducing environmental risk factors. One example is the recirculation system, which is essentially like a high-tech pond system. The fish are kept in a series of interconnected, fully controlled tanks that are indoors with little chance of contact with wild fish.
A closed loop of pipes brings clean water to the tank, from which the wastewater is drawn, purified, and then recycled. Circulatory systems are likely to become more prevalent in the aquaculture industry in the coming years.
Open Net Pens
If you’ve read stories or seen pictures of fish farming, you’ve probably seen cages. In their most common form, they involve a frame made of metal, wood, or bamboo that floats on the surface of a body of water and supports a mesh fence. They are either anchored to the bottom of the body of water, or attached to a nearby safety structure, or both.
Fish farmers like cages because of their flexibility, versatility and scale. They are able to succeed in any type of water body that best suits the needs of their fish. They are designed to allow water to flow freely, which helps farmers dispose of waste.
Reputable fish farms and processing plants have wastewater treatment facilities on site to reduce pollutants. Wastewater can also be recycled in innovative ways: it can provide nutrient-rich irrigation for agriculture, or it can be used to nourish other farmed species such as shellfish, which are filter-feeding fish, or catfish, which are bottom feeders.
Submersible Net Pens
Diving cage is an alternative to open cage. Instead of floating on the surface of the water, these cages are completely underwater and usually take the form of large enclosed cages.
Because they are below the surface, they are also more distant than open cages. This makes them immune to outside influences and makes captive fish less likely to escape.
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