A new fish farming method known as ‘Cage Culture’ has been introduced in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions to preserve the water bodies and improve fish production.
The Cage Culture method involves the building of cages with nets in the dams and ponds to house the fish and it was introduced by the Fisheries Commission under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture in collaboration with Results Project, a Canadian Funded Project.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga on Friday, Mr John Anafu, the Bolgatanga-Talensi Zonal Officer of the Fisheries Commission in the Upper East Region, said with the Cage Culture, the fishes are confined in the cages where they are fed and the water drained periodically to allow for healthy reproduction.
“The fish cage is made with a net and wires around it to prevent the fish from going out and also prevent other water animals from getting into the cage. Two tankers are attached to opposite sides of the cage to prevent it from sinking and metal stands rooted in ground of the water to make it stand firm,” he said. The fish cages which differ in sizes could house about 6000 to 10000 fingerlings at a time.
The project is being implemented in six zones including two communities in the Talensi District, two communities in the Bongo District, one community each of the Bolgatanga Municipality, Kassena-Nankana West and Nabdam Districts.
Currently, 43 cages have been built in the Upper East Region, each cage managed by 10 people with women in the majority, Mr Anafu said.
He said the new system of fish farming has improved fish production in the region and a farmer in the Pus-Namongo community in the Talensi District emerged the National Best Farmer for Cage Culture in 2016.
The Zonal Officer attributed the recent depletion of fish production in the region to environment al factors such as climate change, inconsistent rainfall pattern leading to low water level in the dams, indiscriminate felling of trees and burning of bushes among others.
He said illegal and over fishing and the use of chemicals in the water bodies were other causes of the loss of the fish species in recent times.
Mr Anafu added, “Some people also use chemicals and undersize mesh where small nets within two inches are employed by farmers to catch the fish. These types of nets catch all the fish species including the fingerlings and eggs.”
He urged international bodies in charge of climate change to pursue critical research into the recent climate change experienced around the globe, to device strategies to deal with changing global rainfall pattern to boost agriculture production.
He advised the public to desist from activities that were detrimental to the environment including the water bodies and urged farmers to venture into cage culture to produce fish for domestic use.