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Intigrated Fish Farming


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Title: Intigrated Fish Farming

  • New Avenue of Earning from
  • Integrated Fish Farming
  • Anupam Bandyopadhyay and Sanjib Bose
  • Sreegopal Banerjee College
  • Bagati, Magra, Hooghly

Integrated Fish Farming
  • The principle of integrated fish farming involves
    farming of fish along with livestock or/and
    agricultural crops.
  • This type of farming offers great efficiency in
    resource utilization, as waste or byproduct from
    one system is effectively recycled. 
  • It also enables effective utilization of
    available farming space for maximizing
  • The rising cost of protein-rich fish food and
    chemical fertilizers as well as the general
    concern for energy conservation have created
    awareness in the utilization of rice and other
    crop fields and livestock wastes for fish
  • Fish culture in combination with agriculture or
    livestock is a unique and lucrative venture and
    provides a higher farm income, makes available a
    cheap source of protein for the rural population,
    increases productivity on small land-holdings and
    increases the supply of feeds for the farm

Scope of Integrated Fish Farming
  • The scope of integrated farming is considerably
  • Ducks and geese are raised in pond, and
    pond-dykes are used for horticultural and
    agricultural crop products and animal rearing.
  • The system provides meat, milk, eggs, fruits,
    vegetables, mushroom, fodder and grains, in
    addition to fish.
  • Hence this system provides better production,
    provides more employment, and improves
    socio-economic status of farmers and betterment
    of rural economy.

Classification of Integrated Fish Farming
  • Integrated fish farming can be broadly classified
    into two, namely Agriculture-fish and
    Livestock-fish systems.
  • Agri-based systems include rice-fish integration,
    horticulture-fish system, mushroom-fish system,
    seri-fish system.
  • Livestock-fish system includes cattle-fish
    system, pig-fish system, poultry-fish system,
    duck-fish system, goat-fish system, rabbit-fish

Rice Fish Integrated System
  • For the culture of fish in combination with rice,
    varieties such as Panidhan, Tulsi, CR260 77, ADT
    6, ADT 7, Rajarajan and Pattambi 15 and 16 are
  • These varieties not only possess strong root
    systems but also are also capable of withstanding
    flooded conditions.
  • They have a life span of 180 days and fish
    culture is possible for about four to five months
    after their transplantation.
  • Harvesting is done when fish attain marketable
  • Fish culture in rice fields may be attempted in
    two ways, viz. simultaneous culture and rotation
    culture. In the former, rice and fish are
    cultivated together and in the latter fish and
    rice are cultivated alternately.

Horticulture Fish Integrated System
  • The top, inner and outer dykes of ponds as well
    as adjoining areas can be best utilized for
    horticulture crops.
  • Pond water is used for irrigation and silt, which
    is a high-quality manure is used for crops,
    vegetables and fruit bearing plants. 
  • The success of the system depends on the
    selection of plants. They should be of dwarf
    type, less shady, evergreen, seasonal and highly
  • Dwarf variety fruit bearing plants like mango,
    banana, papaya, coconut and lime are suitable,
    while pineapple, ginger, turmeric, chilli are
    grown as intercrops.
  • Plantation of flower bearing plants like
    tuberose, rose, jasmine, gladiolus, marigold and
    chrysanthemum provide additional income to

Sericulture Fish Integrated System
  • In this integration, mulberry is the producer
    silkworm is the first consumer while fish is the
    secondary consumer, ingesting silkworm faeces
  • Inorganic nutrient in the silkworm faeces are
    utilized by phytoplankton, and filter-feeding
    fish in turn consumes heterotrophic bacteria.
  • The optimum range of temperature and humidity is
    15-32oC and 50-90 respectively.
  • The seri-fish system provides linkages between
    mulberry and pond sub-system.
  • Harvested mulberry leaves are fed to silkworm and
    the waste material obtained from silkworm rearing
    enters fish-pond as a mixture of mulberry leaves
    and silkworm excrement. 

Duck-Fish Integrated System
  • Duck-fish integration is the most common
    integration in China, Hungary, Germany, Poland,
    Russia and some parts of India.
  • A fish-pond being a semi-closed biological system
    with several aquatic animals and plants, provide
    excellent disease-free environment for ducks. In
    return ducks consume juvenile frogs, tadpoles and
    dragonfly, thus making a safe environment for
  • Duck dropping goes directly in pond, which in
    turn provide essential nutrients to stimulate
    growth of natural food.
  • This has two advantages, there is no loss of
    energy and fertilization is homogeneous.
  • This integrated farming has been followed in West
    Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra
    Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura and Karnataka.
    Most commonly used breed for this system in India
    is the Indian runners.

Chicken-Fish Integrated System
  • The droppings of chicks rich in nitrogen and
    phosphorus would fertilise fishponds.
  • Poultry housing, when constructed above the water
    level using bamboo poles would fertilise
    fishponds directly. This system utilizes poultry
    droppings for fish culture.
  • Production levels of 4500-5000 kg/fish/ha could
    be obtained by recycling pond manure into
  • Broiler production provides good and immediate
    returns to farmers. Procurement of quality
    chicks, housing, brooding, feeding and disease
    management are important for this type of system.
  • In fish poultry integration, birds housed under
    intensive system are considered best.
  • Birds are kept in confinement with no access to
  • Deep litter is well suited for this type of
    farming. About 6-8 cm thick layer prepared from
    chopped straw, dry leaves, saw dust or groundnut
    shell is sufficient.

Pig-Fish Integrated System
  • This system of integration is very common in
    China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and
  • Pigs are fed largely on kitchen waste, aquatic
    plants and crop wastes.
  • The waste produced by 30-35 pigs is equivalent to
    1 tonne of ammonium sulphate.
  • Exotic breeds such have White Yorkshire, Landrace
    and Hampshire are reared in pig-sty near the fish
  • A floor space of 3-4 m2 is provided and boars,
    sows and finish stocks are housed separately.
  • Maize, groundnut, wheat-bran, fishmeal, mineral
    mixes are provided as concentrate feed-mixture.

Mushroom Fish Integrated System
  • Cultivation of edible mushroom in India is quite
  • Three types of mushrooms being commercially
    cultivated in India are Agaricus
    bisporus, Voloriella spp. and Pleurotus spp.,
    commonly known as European button, paddy straw
    and oyster mushroom.
  • Mushroom cultivation requires high degree of
    humidity and therefore its cultivation along with
    aquaculture tremendous scope.
  • Method of cultivation involves use of dried
    paddy-straw chopped into 1.2 cm bits, soaked in
    water overnight. Excess water is drained off.
    Horsegram powder (8 g/kg straw) and spawn (30
    g/kg straw) is added and mixed with wet straw in
    alternating layers. Perforated polythene bags are
    filled with substrate and kept in room at
    21o-35oC with required light and ventilation.
  • The mycelial growth occurs within 11-14 days.
  • Polythene bags are cut open at this stage, water
    is sprayed twice a day and in a few days mushroom
    crop becomes ready for harvest.
  • The paddy-straw after mushroom cultivation is
    utilized for cattle feeding.

Cattle Fish Integrated System
  • A large population of cows and buffaloes exists
    in the country which plays a vital role in the
    national economy.
  • Fish farming can become more production-oriented
    if integrated with cattle farming.
  • Cattle are allowed to graze on pond banks and
    grassy areas in the vicinity and manure is either
    collected or washed directly from the cattle
    sheds into the ponds.
  • It has been proved that in the composite fish
    culture (rohu, mori, thaila and 3 Chinese carps)
    when the ponds are manured with cowdung _at_ 15,000
    kg/ha/year, an excellent yield of 5,000 kg
    fish/ha/year can be obtained.
  • Fertilization of nurseries and rearing ponds with
    cowdung is a widespread practice in Pakistan.
  • However, there is a strong need to standardize
    the number of animals required to provide manure
    per unit area of fish ponds.
  • It has been estimated that fresh cowdung manure
    voided by two cows is sufficient to fertilize one
    ha of pond area.

Ecosystem of Integrated Fish Farming
  • Integrated fish farming system works in following
  • Trapping of solar energy and production of
    organic matter by primary producers.
  • Utilization of primary producers by phagotrophs
    or tertiary consumers.
  • Decomposition of primary producers and
    phagotrophs by saprotrophs or osmotrophs.
  • Release of nutrients for producers.
  • The animal waste in water body enter into the
    food chain in three different ways
  • Feed Certain bottom feeders like Cyprinus carpio
    and Cirrhinus mrigala directly utilized the
    organic particles which are generally coated with
    bacteria along with other material.
  • Autotrophic production Some of the decomposed
    portion of waste products provides nutrients for
    the micro-flora (autotrophs), while
    non-mineralised portion provides food base for
    bacteria and protozoa (heterotrophs).
    Temperature, light, micro and macroflora,
    inorganic nutrients, carbon, phosphorous and
    nitrogen are the basic inputs required for
    photosynthesis process.
  • Heterotrophic production
  • Micro fauna (zooplankton) feed on small manure
    particles coated with bacteria. In the process,
    bacteria is digested while rest is excreted. In
    this heterotrophic production system
  • micro fauna (protozoans and zooplanktons) are
    produced finally shortening food chain. This
  • system of production is not linked with the
    process of photosynthesis.

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Advantages of Fish farming systems
  • Fish provides high quality animal protein for
    human consumption.
  • A farmer can often integrate fish farming into
    the existing farm to create additional income and
    improve its water management.
  • Fish growth in ponds can be controlled the
    farmers themselves select the fish species they
    wish to raise.
  • The fish produced in a pond are the owner's
    property they are secure and can be harvested at
  • Effective land use effective use of marginal
    land e.g. land that is too poor, or too costly to
    drain for agriculture can be profitably devoted
    to fish farming provided that it is suitably

Advantages of Integrated Fish Farming Systems
  • Integrated fish farming systems utilise the waste
    of live stock, poultry and agriculture byproducts
    for fish production. About 40-50 kg of organic
    manure can produce 1 kg of fish.
  • Fish farms having an integration with mulberry
    cultivation, sericulture and silk extraction from
    cocoons allow the pupae to be utilised fish feed
    and the worm faeces and wastewater from the
    processing factory to be used as pond
  • Pond silt can be used as fertiliser for fodder
    crops which in turn can be used to raise
    live-stock and poultry or as fish feed.
  • Thus a recycling of waste is done in integrated
    fish farming system.
  • The scope of integration in a fish farm is
    considerably wide.
  • Ducks and geese may be raised on the pond, pond
    dykes may be used for fruit plants and mulberry
    cultivation or for raising pigs, cattle, and dyke
    slopes for fodder production.
  • Integrated fish farming systems not only fish but
    meat, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms
    etc. can be obtained. This system fully utilizes
    the water body, the water surface, the land, and
    the pond silt to increase food production for
    human consumption.

Integrated Fish Farming in West Bengal
Fisheries Development
  • Strengths
  • The State has large impounded resource of large
    number of water bodies besides a riverine system
    for fish production.
  • All varieties of major and minor carps are
    cultivated besides various types of local fish
    species naturally available in the water bodies.
  • Per capita consumption of fish is highest in
    world and hence high demand for production of
  • Major producer supplier of fish seed in the
    country ( 65 of countrys seed is sourced from
    West Bengal)
  • Availability of good quality of spawn/seed from
    natural as well as commercial hatcheries.
  • Existence of active and functional Fishermans
    cooperative societies, Fish Production Groups and
    a large number
  • of Self Help Groups (SHG) all over the State
    contributing well for the growth of the fishery
  • Pro-active Fisheries Department
  • Various governmental schemes and demonstration
    farms provide able support for development of

Fisheries Development..continued
  • Opportunities
  • The state has 2.10 lakh Ha of impounded
    brackish water resources in India, which is the
    highest in country, but only 0.48 lakh Ha have
    been developed.
  • Increasing fish productivity through
    development of beels baors
  • Setting up of more number of hatcheries for
    seed production in different districts/blocks.
  • Integrated fish farming with agriculture,
    horticulture, dairy, poultry, offers immense
    scope for development.
  • Organizing demonstration, training and
    awareness camps in the fish farmers villages for
    dissemination of advanced technology.
  • Expansion of fishery activities through
    excavation of additional tanks, renovation of
    derelict tanks, desilting river beds etc.
  • Promoting fish farming in canals
  • Thrust on poly culture with prawns for maximum
    utilization of resources.
  • Promotion of paddy cum fish farming, air
    breathing fish farming, crab fattening,
    ornamental fish culture.
  • Huge scope for inland fishery activities and
    production of value added products from low cost

Fisheries Development..continued
  • Weakness
  • Large water bodies are under derelict and
    semi-derelict conditions.
  • Lack of organized fish culture at village
  • Shortcomings in marketing, absence of adequate
    ice plant and cold storage facilities at the
    production point.
  • Inadequate bank financing in the fishery
  • Highly season specific activity.
  • Inadequate demonstration and extension campaign
    at field level.

Fisheries Development..continued
  • Threats
  • Drying of natural water bodies due to extensive
    use of water for irrigation and or during summer.
  • High siltation restricts fish production.
  • Over exploitation of fisheries resources in
    sea, especially the juvenile fishing.
  • Flood, natural calamities and water pollution
    from indiscriminate use of pesticides in the
    agricultural field are big threats to pisci

  • FAO.  2005-2013. Fisheries and Aquaculture
    topics. Possibilities for integrating fish
    farming into irrigation systems. Topics Fact
    Sheets. Text by Matthias Halwart. In FAO
    Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. Rome.
    Updated 27 May 2005. Cited 20 February 2013.
  • Jhingran, V.G., Introduction to aquaculture.
    1987, United Nations Development Programme, Food
    and Agriculture Organization of the United
    Nations, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and
    Marine Research.
  • Frei, M. and Becker, K. (2005), Integrated
    rice-fish culture Coupled production saves
    resources. Natural Resources Forum, 29 135143.
    doi 10.1111/j.1477-8947.2005.00122.x
  • A training manual on "Polyculture
    and integrated fish farming College of
     Fisheries, Assam Agricultural University, Raha -
    782103,  Nagaon, Assam, India.
  • Fisheries Department, Haryana, Chandigarh, India.
  • Diver Steve , 2006,AquaponicsIntegration of
    Hydroponics with Aquaculture, ATTRA
    Publication IP163
  •  Khanna S. S., An introduction to Fishes 1996
  • Verma. A.M., 1994. Integrated fish farming with
    Makhana (Eurale ferox) Fishing chimes 14 (2)13
  • http//