Item Details

Title: Operational Manual for Cage Fish Farming in Uganda

Date Published: 2016
Author/s: National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)
Data publication: June 2016
Funding Agency : NARO
Copyright/patents/trade marks: NARO
Journal Publisher: National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)
Affiliation: National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)
Keywords: Cage fish farming, Fish farming, Manual, Uganda, Aquaculture


These guidelines have been prepared to guide operation of cage fish farms in Uganda to ensure optimal benefit to farmers with minimal impact on the environment and other lake uses. Increased demand for fish by the rapidly increasing human population, export demand, and reduced fish production from capture fisheries has reduced per capita of consumption of fish in Uganda to as low as 8 kg, which is below the 17 kg recommended by FAO and 25 kg recommended by the WHO for healthy living. With a population of 35 million, Uganda needs about 600,000 tons of fish annually to meet the recommended FAO per capita fish consumption. In addition, regional and international export markets each require about 200,000 tons of fish annually from Uganda, indicating that Uganda needs to produce at least one million tons of fish annually to meet its demands. Current annual fish production in Uganda is about 500,000 tons (400,000 tons from capture fisheries and 100,000 tons from aquaculture), leaving a deficit of about 500,000 tons annually. Production from capture fisheries has stagnated and is not likely to meet the deficit. The deficit can therefore be met from aquaculture which is the fastest growing animal production system in the world and is considered a major remedy to increase fish supply amidst dwindling wild fish stocks. The government of Uganda has committed itself under the Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) 2016 – 2020 to increase aquaculture production by at least 300,000 tonnes annually by 2020. Aquaculture in Uganda has mainly been through earthen ponds but cage fish farming which started in 2006 is becoming more productive than pond aquaculture. This is due to attributes such as higher production per unit volume of up to 300 kg m-3 compared to 2-10 kg m-3 for pond fish farming), efficient utilization of feeds, and relatively lower start-up investment which offer opportunities to address the limitations that have undermined the contribution of pond fish farming to fish production in Uganda. However, cage fish farming presents environmental challenges as feeds, chemicals, veterinary drugs, excretion waste products, fish escapes, and diseases have potential to contaminate the natural environment and resident organisms. Cage fish farming can also result into conflicts among multiple water resource uses such as fishing, recreation, transport, water extraction and hydro power generation. There is therefore need for guidelines to guide operation of cage fish farms. These guidelines have therefore been developed to guide operation of cage fish farm in Uganda in line with international codes of practice for aquaculture. They provide basic information on setting up the cage fish farm, production practices, facility security, fish health management, waste management, environmental monitoring, and decommissioning of the farm, plus some information on the enterprise budget.. The guidelines periodically be improved from the lessons learnt in implementation of the process.

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