Fish farming is the keeping or rearing of fish in ponds for commercial purposes.
Reasons for fish farming development include
- Fish farming occupies less space compared to other especially agricultural activities.
- It is free from territorial disputes and conflicts.
- It leads to the development of related industries e.g. fish processing, canning, fertilizer making and boat construction.
- Creation of job or employment opportunities – building and management of the fish ponds or farms
- Fish is a source of food or supplement animal protein.
- Some fish in the ponds e.g. trout are exported hence earning foreign exchange.
- Allows better and maximum utilization of land and water resources especially swamps or dams with no agricultural use.
- It is less exposed to the dangers of deep-sea or lake fishing storms, drowning.
- It assists in the conservation of rare species, which might face the danger of depletion or extinction.
Ways through which the government is encouraging fish farming in Kenya
- Provision of technical and financial assistance to fish farmers by the Ministry of Livestock.
- Setting up demonstration farms/hatcheries to sensitize on proper management of fish farms through the Lake Basin Development Authority.
- Government’s food policy encourages communities fish to set up fish farms/embrace fish eating culture..
Significance of fishing
- Fishing creates employment opportunities directly as fishermen or indirectly through fish related industries.
- Source of medicine & cooking fat e.g. cod liver oil, Scotts emulsion.
- It has led to economic diversification by providing alternative source of food & income hence reducing overdependence on agriculture.
- Fishing has led to the development of fishing ports and fishing villages and towns e.g. the ones along the shores of Lake Victoria.
- Source of food – relatively cheaper source of proteins and vitamins compared to meat/beef.
- Industrialization: – fish related resources and activities provide raw materials for related industries e.g. fertilizer and animal feeds making, lubricants, medicines, cosmetics, fish processing, net and boat making, canning, etc.
- Infrastructural development – promotes development of feeder roads that link the fishing grounds to the main roads, provision of electricity, etc.
- Source of foreign revenue:- some of the fish may be exported to earn foreign income