Biological recycling of pond weeds in fish farms

Photo credit: Mustafa Koweka (Syria) Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The photo shows a group of cattle while grazing weeds grown on the dykes of fish ponds. The shown practice is a type of biological control of unwanted plants in fish ponds in which cattle acquire a part of their daily feed from these plants. In large fish farms, such process is performed based on contracts that normally ensure that no damage to pond dyke could result from the cattle movement and grazing and also specifying the time of the day during which animals are permitted to stay on the farm.

Typically, this process takes place during the day time. Afterwards, the cattle herd leaves the fish farm and stay the night in a nearby place until the following day to repeat the same practice till the end of the agreed-upon period. Usually, cattle are attended by the herd farmers who are responsible for abiding the agreement. The fish farm while get their pond dykes reasonably cleared at no cost, the farm still receives an additional income for allowing such practice to occur in a win-win situation.


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Feeding meagre in earthen ponds in Damietta (Egypt) – Video

Video credit: Charles Bernard Makuya (Malawi) Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)

This video was filmed during a field visit by Fish Culture Development training course. The marine fish farm is located in Damietta; the main region for the farming of meagre (Argyrosomus regius). The development of meagre aquaculture in Egypt has witnessed significant progress increasing from less than 6000 tons in 2014 to about 25000 tons in 2017. The increase in meagre aquaculture occurs although the activity still relies solely on the wild-caught seeds.

As shown in the video, the feeding operation relies on trash fish and small shrimp. As expected, the feed conversion ratio is poor with an average of about 9 (feed): 1 (gain). In that regard, some initiatives conducted on private farms target to evaluate the performance and production of the species when fed artificial feed with 40 and 50% crude protein.

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Fish and seafood display in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt)

The two photos show the displays of fish and seafood in Sharm El Sheikh (South Sinai). The display indicates that premium species of lobster, shrimp, crab and finfish are displayed; all belong to marine fish/seafood. This also indicates the consumer preference as well as the purchasing power of tourists who spend their vacations in such attractive city. As expected, freshwater fish such tilapia could be found on other displays.

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Cage culture of tilapia in Ghana

Photos’ credit: Francis Xedagbui (Ghana) Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted photos show the harvest of caged tilapia and show also a group of women while processing (gutting) the harvested fish in a nearby boat. In fact, the owner of the cages (Francis), participated in a 3-month training course held in Egypt in 2015 and sponsored by the Egyptian International Centre of Agriculture (EICA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Based on published records, cage farming in Ghana goes back to 2001 with only one cage farm. Afterwards, cage aquaculture in Lake Volta has become the fastest business activity with about an annual growth rate of 73 percent between 2010 and 2016.

The Water Research Institute (WRI) in Akosombo, Ghana, is promoting cage aquaculture technology to smallholder farmers.

A typical cage size in Lake Volta is about 6 x 4m with a 2-m depth. The cage netting is attached to pipe frames buoyed by oil drums or plastic barrels. The cage surface is usually covered by bird nettings to protect caged fish against bird predation. Tilapia fingerlings of about 10-30g size are stocked at rates ranging from 3000 to 9000 fish per 48-m3 cage. Cage farms acquire the fingerlings either from private tilapia hatcheries or from a selected line of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) produced at the Ghanaian Aquaculture Research and Development Centre in Akosombo.

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African catfish farming in Tanzania (Video)

This video was filmed during my visit along with Tanzanian colleagues to a fish farm located in Kibisho. The visit took place during September 2018.

The present video shows a farm component related to the culture of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) whereas catfish broodstock are maintained in outdoor concrete tanks. There are hatcheries for tilapia and catfish which provide the grow-out ponds with required fingerlings. As shown in the video especially during feeding, most of the catfish broodstock are of large size.

According to FAO statistics, the production of catfish in Tanzania amounted 2000 tons in 2017 out of 19,602 tons of total aquaculture in the same year.

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Rescuing an Indus River dolphin (Pakistan)

Photo credit: Muhammad Hafeez-ur-Rehman (Pakistan) Review: Muhammad Hafeez-ur-Rehman and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted photo shows an incidence of rescuing an Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica). This species of dolphin is among the world’s most endangered dolphins and has been listed as ‘Endangered’ by the World Conservation Union. It is one of the world’s rarest mammals. The severely declining populations are threatened by declining freshwater supplies, pollution, capture in fishing nets and hunting.

In regard to conserving the Indus river dolphins, Joint rescue teams from WWF-Pakistan and the Sindh Wildlife Department regularly carry out these rescuing operations. Typically, the stranded dolphins are carefully captured, placed on a stretcher, kept moist, and transported in a sound-proof vehicle and released in the main stream of the Indus River.

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Promoting the integration of agricultural crops with aquaculture in Madagascar

Photos’ credit: Marcel Jean Adavelo (Madagascar) – Review: Marcel Jean Adavelo and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted pictures show different models of integration between tilapia-based fish farming and different agriculture systems including –as shown in the pictures- vegetables, corn, gardens and others. Typically, proper integration enhances the productivity whether in biomass and/or economics of the farm units of land and water bearing in mind that pond water is used to naturally fertilize the agriculture crops grown on pond dikes. In order to promote such integration, there is a need to acquire solid information on the best types of integration during different seasons; and this is the key purpose of applying and evaluating different integration scenarios.

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Culture of all-male tilapia in Senegal

Photos’ credit: Jean-Marie Sambou (Senegal) Description: Jean Marie   and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted photos show the production and distribution of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings in Senegal. Typically, all-male tilapia is produced via hormonal treatment using 17-alpha methyl testosterone. The pictures have been taken in a private tilapia hatchery located in the central part of Senegal. The sponsor of this program is “Fonds National de Recherches Agricoles et Agro-alimentaires (FNRAA)”. One of the inserted photos shows the delivery of the all-male tilapia fingerlings of about 5-g size to target farmers.

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Culture of rainbow trout in Pakistan (Overview)

Photo credit: Yousuf Jan (Pakistan) Description: Yousuf Jan and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Historically, the culture of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Pakistan; in particular in Gilgit Baltistan dates back to 1906-1908 starting with aged ova that were carried to Gilgit by Potters and then hatched under the supervision of experts of that time.

In recent time, the initial governmental interest has been placed on the production of trout juveniles for stock enhancement into natural waters targeting to enhance the sport fishing as required by tourism sector.

There are currently several rainbow trout hatcheries and farms in the Northern regions of Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan region. Based on FAO overview, the touristic sector is the target market of farmed trout during summer as tourists are attracted to the areas with cold weather throughout the summer. During winter, trout is still sold and consumed by local people who increase their fish consumption during cold.

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Fish Culture Development training course – 2019 (Prior to graduation)

The inserted pictures have been taken on Thursday (December 5), the day of my very last contribution to this program. This 11-week “Fish Culture Development” training course has been annually organized and supported since 1989 by the Egyptian International Centre for Agriculture (EICA). Eng. Hend Arafa (EICA, Director General), and Eng. Manal attended one of the inserted pictures. Eng. Nahla Farouk (course coordinator), Engineers Mohamed Saied and Eman Elazab attended both pictures.

The participants in this course are: Kally Ouindlassida and Inoussa Compaore (Burkina Faso), Yousuf Mohammed Ali Kaabi (Sultanate of Oman), Yousuf Jan and Naheed Bano (Pakistan), Sambou Jean Marie (Senegal), Hussein Ahmed Mohamed (Somalia), Mahanamanam Geeganga Gamage Gunasena (Sri Lanka), Hisham Mohamed Ahmed (Sudan), Farida Mlaponi Mohamed (Tanzania), and Tamara Dombrovska (Ukraine).

It has been always a pleasure to contribute to this course since started in 1989. The course will be concluded by mid-December. While wishing all course participants safe flights back home, I always appreciate EICA management not only for giving me the opportunity to significantly contribute to the course but also for the chance to knowing wonderful teams of course participants year after another.   Abdel Rahman El Gamal

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