Fresh fruits and vegetables are now being offered from local farms direct to your table. What if you could have fresh fish delivered the same way?

In fact, you may grow fish in your own back yard. Many varieties of fish, including tilapia and trout, can be raised at home in a backyard pond. If you live in an area far from the ocean or lakes or rivers with fish available, you can start a business farming fish at home. You can probably learn the basics through books, videos, courses and on-line forums. See the North American Native Fish Association (

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Fish farming—aquaculture—is growing fast. The act of fish farming is about raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures for human consumption. There are different types of fish farms that utilize different aquaculture method, but not without problems. Political efforts are in progress to defend open seagoing commercial fish catchers who fear competition from farm fish. There are also regulations by government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture which are concerned with the quality and safety of Factory fish farming. Around half of the seafood eaten in the entire world comes from these types of facilities as producers attempt to produce fish as cheaply as possible.

The first method is the cage system which use enclosures placed in lakes, ponds and oceans that contain the fish. This method is also widely referred to as off-shore cultivation. Fish are kept in the cage like structures and are “artificially fed” and harvested. The fish farming cage method has made numerous technological advances over the years, especially with reducing diseases and environmental concerns. However, the number one concern of the cage method is fish escaping and being loose among the wild fish population.

Food & Water Watch is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization aimed at fighting for healthy food and water. The organization is concerned about fish farming’s effect on human health.

Many   such organizations as well federal and state agencies worry about the potential of:

  • Overcrowding of the fish
  • Use of antibiotics to prevent infection and encourage growth
  • Hormones to aid size
  • Pesticides to ward off disease
  • Impact on surrounding ecosystems and human water supplies.

The Israelis may have invented a solution to deal with environmental side-effects of fish farming.

The Gili Ocean’s Subflex –a submerged flexible system—has been developed in cooperation with professors at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The device features flexible cages that can be submerged underwater when there are strong currents and waves at sea.

“Growing fish in the open water greatly reduces the ecological impact,” CEO Yossi Melchner says: “The water quality is superb and you don’t need to add any external resources or energy because it is the ultimate habitat. But we need to deal with storms. This is why we started developing the Subflex technology in 2003.”

thZE8JE9QKThe Subflex system includes high-tech components such as sensors and image processors to boost efficiency, ease of use and cost-effectiveness. The Gili Ocean farming’s objective is to make offshore aquaculture a long-term, sustainable solution.

American scientists are also reportedly working on open-water environmentally efficient fish farming systems.

In the meantime, State legislators have hooked the FDA into to taking over inspection of catfish farming. The production of catfish is permitted in aquaculture in other countries. Some legislators in both state and federal government are trying to establish regulations fair to both catfish farmers and open water catfish fishermen who are opposed to each other.

Catfish are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers.An estimated  89,400 acres of ponds are used for farm-raised catfish production in the United States.

The American commercial fish farmers are competing with Vietnam and China who sell catfish to us at a cheaper price they have lower costs for labor and feed. Aside from charges of dumping catfish on the US market, American fish farmers charge sanitary conditions are not equal to the American standards . Prices change frequently: in one report, domestic catfish sells  between $3 and $3.50 a pound Imported may sell for between 85 cents and $1.00 .

More than 45 percent of the fish we eat come from aquaculture enterprises beyond our borders to accommodate our growing demand .

You can farm your own catfish and other species.

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There are different types of fish farms that utilize different aquaculture methods.

If you live in an area far from the ocean or where there are few lakes and rivers with fish available, you can start a business farming fish at home. To begin as a fish farmer, you will need to learn the basics of the process. You can do this through courses, books and online forums.

  1. Scilly, studioD, (How to Learn Home Fish Farming |, advises a classic book to read is “Home Aquaculture: A Guide to Backyard Fish Farming” by Steven D. Van Gorder and Douglas J. Strange. The book provides information about raising fish and operating as a business. “Small-scale Freshwater Fish Farming” by Aldin Hilbrands provides details on how to set up your own backyard fish farm,

An online magazine offers fish farming updates (

A site with pictures reveals how to build your backyard fish pond. (

Fish farming supplies

Fish farming supplies are needed for the aquaculture industry. The supplies can range from feed and feeders, filtration systems, hatchery supplies, heating and cooling systems, lighting, hydroponics equipment, pluming, predator control, tanks and water treatment products just to name a few.

Feed and feeders Feed quality is important in fish farming and is vital to fish health. Depending on the feed that is given, it can help with desirable color, growth and overall health and well-being. There are a wide variety of different feeds that are suited to different types of aqua-farming methods and species.

Water Filtration Systems: Needed for diminishing environmental impacts. Filtration involves the removal of waste products from the water. There are a number of different types filtering systems that can be used, but it often depends on the state of the filtration process.

Hatchery supplies: Includes anything from fish graders, shipping supplies to spawning and handling containers.

Predator control. Tools are used in the fish’s habitat, to deter unwanted culprits. These may include visual and audio deterrents.

Many varieties of fish, including tilapia and trout, can be raised at home in a backyard pond. Catfish are easy to farm in warmer climates. Catfish are predominantly farmed in fresh water ponds and fed mostly soybeans, corn and rice. Catfish are often considered one of the more sustainable fish specifies for fish farming purposes. Cultivating catfish first began in the 1900s and became commercialized in the 1950s. Catfish is populous because of its health benefits and market demand. Farm-raised catfish are usually harvested at 18 months of age where as wild catfish usually get much bigger. There are a number of catfish species, but the three most prominent ones are blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead. catfish



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