What Is Fish Farming?

Fish farming is the commercial business of raising fish for human consumption. Fish are grown in tanks, ponds, cages and irrigation ditches. Also known as pisciculture, fish farming is the main form of aquaculture or aquafarming, which is the farming of fish, crustaceans, aquatic plants and other aquatic organisms.

Intensive aquaculture fish farming is technology-based, where farmers raise fish in tanks. Farmers must understand the water, oxygen and feeding needs of the fish species they are raising in order to reduce stress, control diseases and mortality and promote fish growth. Because fish growth is completely controlled, intensive farming results in high yields. Start-up costs are high for intensive fish farming, and the business requires a large labor force.

Extensive aquaculture fish farming, also known as off-shore cultivation, is less work than intensive farming. The fish are kept inside enclosures where they are artificially fed, but they are raised in oceans and other natural bodies of water, as well as in man-made waterways, such as ponds. Because the farmers have less control of the environment, fish are more prone to disease and there are lower yields than in intensive farming.

Catfish, cod, tilapia, salmon and carp are common species raised on fish farms.