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Sustainable Aquaculture and Integrated Farming

Aquaculture contribution to improved human and environmental health is to improve water quality is significant. Integrating fish farming with chicken and vegetable cultivation was profitable for village communities. Increasing fish output and promoting social cohesion through fish culture in local resources. It is inexpensive and sustainable to combine rice with fish.

Introduction to Aquaculture

In India, aquaculture has been practised since the beginning of time by farmers and fishermen. Traditional fish farming practices in small ponds in eastern India suggest that aquaculture was a significant source of income for the region. Aquaculture in India, which was mostly a subsistence sector up until the 1980s, went through a significant transition as a result of an increase in demand from western markets. After the green revolution’s success, attention turned to the blue revolution, which would turn a traditional way of life that was ecologically friendly into a semi- or highly-intensive enterprise. Aquaculture tanks were constructed in freshwater lakes, mangroves were destroyed, and wetlands were invaded and drained. Additionally, there were negative socioeconomic and environmental effects. The involvement of private parties and the extensive exploitation of natural resources caused varying degrees of ecological and human destruction. Adopting effective husbandry methods that are also environmentally responsible makes it possible to increase productivity in such small-scale production systems. Higher levels of production have been achieved due to advances in husbandry techniques. There are numerous integrated model models in use. The most popular farming method among them is rice-fish integration. Every year, West Bengal’s Hooghly and South 24 Parganas integrate rice and fish during the Kharif season.

Aquaculture that is sustainable Better management methods are key

A significant part of aquaculture’s contribution to improved human and environmental health is to improve water quality. The focus must be on increasing fish production in an environmentally responsible way. Good husbandry techniques must be prioritised. It is hardly necessary to emphasise the role of aquaculture in supplying farming communities with food and cash. Unfortunately, the emphasis has been on intensive rearing systems to meet the demand for fish and fish products, which has led to overexploitation through fish stocking densities well above carrying capacity, frequent water exchange, careless application of feed and fertiliser, and even scheduled chemotherapy-therapeutic drugs like antibiotics. This has frequently resulted in the production of harmful waste that hurts the development of aquatic life and biodiversity.

Adoption of improved feeding techniques in Aquaculture

Freshwater aquaculture in India typically involves the semi-intensive production of six cyprinid species (based primarily on polyculture). Farmers employ five different types of feed and nine main ingredients, according to a broad survey. Ingredients include wheat bran, maize meal, cotton seed meal, sunflower meal, soybean meal, sesame oil cake, mustard oil cake, and groundnut oil cake. Rice bran comes in a variety of feed forms, including rice bran simply, rice bran and cotton seed meal, rice bran and groundnut oil cake, rice bran and sunflower meal, and rice bran and mustard oil cake. Examples include bamboo poles in ponds with organic manure, sugarcane bagasse, palm leaves, coconut leaves, and bamboo. As a result of the connected algae’s stability, grazing fish have easier access to it and there is quantitatively more of it per unit of water surface area. Positive effects on the quality of the water are also accompanied by the increased availability of natural food organisms.

Integrated Farming System on a small scale

The goal of an integrated farming system is to boost the productivity of water, land, and related resources while boosting the production of food fish. duck, poultry, and aquaculture; treated wastewater – fed fish culture; and agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture. Rural West Bengal is a frequent place for duck-fish farming. Low stocking density duck-cum-fish farming relies heavily on natural food produced in water as a source of nutrients. The “Indian Runners” variety of ducks is typically selected. The presence of ducks helps to eliminate numerous bug pests, tadpoles and helps to create an environment that is favourable for fish to flourish and grow. During the 36-day fattening period, each duck produces roughly 7 kg of droppings at a stocking rate of 300–500 ducks per acre. 3500 kg of excrement would be produced during this time if 500 ducks were raised.

During the Kharif season every year, rice-fish farming systems are typically found in the West Bengali districts of Malda, east Midnapore, Hooghly, and South 24 Parganas. Land preparation and shaping are essentially done before beginning fish cultivation. The fish use these tunnels as a haven and passageway to roam across the paddy field with ease. In contrast to other rice ecosystems, the water depth in these sections of rice fields is favourable for fish.

Fish farming A stable livelihood

Fish farming in rural areas mostly depends on the pond’s natural productivity, which can be improved by putting animal dung in the water to raise the pond’s carrying capacity. In communities that engage in small-scale aquaculture and fisheries, the sustainable livelihood approach (SLA) strives to lessen poverty and vulnerability. Through SLA, fish farmers are urged to increase pond carrying capacity, involve farm families, improve resource utilisation, integrate various fish farming components, and make the best use of farm areas and farm wastes (cow manure, vermicompost), to increase farm income for the family’s livelihood and improve sustainability.

Conclusion

A crucial factor in improving human health is aquaculture and its management of it in general. These fish yields are equivalent to those reported in India and numerous other Asian countries that integrate fish, duck, and poultry. Fish have a very desirable nutritional profile, making them a great source of high-quality, easily digestible animal protein with significant biological value. It has been demonstrated that adopting the sustainable livelihood approach (SLA) and AFS has improved the livelihoods of fishing communities.

Mayank Bhushan Singh

Master of Fisheries Science (Aquaculture)

Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture & Technology, Kumarganj, Ayodhya, India

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