Cage fish culture is the raising of fish in containers enclosed on all sides and bottom with mesh material that secures the fish inside while allowing relatively free water exchange with the surrounding environment
Cage farming of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus in Lake Dogodogo, Burundi.
The first floating cage in Burundi was installed in April 2012 in the lake Dogodogo, Cibitoke province. The juveniles of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus have been stocked in the cage.
How cages are made
Cages can be made of nylon net meshes, bamboo, wire mesh and any other material that can form a mesh enclosure. However the commonly used material is nylon. The size at which fish is stocked in the cage depends on the mesh size. For small fish, smaller meshes are required to guard against escape.
Advantages with cage fish farming
- The technology directly and indirectly satisfies the universal fundamental goals of producing high quality fish
- It is relatively inexpensive and simple therefore easily adaptable by small holder farmers with limited resources
- It is applicable in most existing water environments and does not require conversion of land into new bodies of water
- There is less likelihood of off flavour fish than in ponds
- It is more adaptable than conventional aquaculture methods in meeting production
Placement of the cage
Species that require highly oxygenated water for instance trout or salmon can only be raised in moving water such as rivers. All species must have some water movement; otherwise waste will build up under the cage.
One of the benefits of fish cage farming is the ease of harvesting the fish. Fish may be removed with a hand-held net and processed or transported as they are removed. If the cage is large, nets may be used to move the fish toward one corner where they may be more easily hand netted.