Credit: Abu Sayed Talukder & Zahangir Alam (Bangladesh) and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
The small-scale cages seen in these pictures are placed in old Brahmaputra River. The small-scale fish farming in Bangladesh is considered an important opportunity to provide a protein rich food for families and to generate some income.
As seen in the photos cages are very simple it can be easily made using local materials such as bamboo poles for frames and netting. They are small in size measuring between 1 and 2m3, therefore the investment for building such cages is always modest.
Cages could be fixed (as the ones in the photos) or floating cages. The location and depth of water may favor one type over the other. A top cover is usually provided especially on fixed cages to minimize the risk of fish escaping, especially in areas prone to flash floods where water levels rise very quickly
A range of freshwater fish candidates whether for family consumption and/or for income generation include tilapia, Chinese carps, catfish (Pangasius sp.), silver barb, and the freshwater prawn. Also, the indigenous Koi (Anabas testudineus) have been found to thrive in cages.
Depending on the caged species, the nutrition could be fresh natural foods (e.g. duckweed, snails), household vegetable wastes, low cost feeds (e.g. rice bran and oilcake) and occasionally, and particularly in the case of Pangasius, commercially available feed could supplement the traditional feed.
Bearing in mind the warm climate of Bangladesh, fish growth is usually rapid and market size could be attained –depending on species and target size- within 3-9 months, providing farmers with a rapid return and in the same time minimizing the risk.
The passing by boat seen usually carries sand, brick and/or other products and sometimes carries passenger.