By Mercy Omoike
Lagos, Aug.11, 2020 An Aquaculture Expert, Mr Eteobong Amah, has endorsed the use of tarpaulin or mobile ponds for urban fish cultivation.
Amah gave the endorsement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
The expert said the adoption of tarpaulin ponds for aquaculture made it more cost-effective for an average fish farmer to set a farm in the urban areas.
He said the advent of tarpaulin ponds did not limit fish farming to rural areas alone, as anyone could easily start up a fish farm.
“There are various kinds of fish ponds. A fish pond is any container that can hold water for fish farming for any period of time.
“Tarpaulin pond makes it easy for anyone to set up a fish pond even in his homestead, without going to set up his farms in rural areas.
“The tarpaulin ponds for fish farming can be compared to Hydroponic farming for crop cultivation, where land space do not necessarily limit the farmer.
“With tarpaulin pond, the farmer will not be limited to setting up a farm; Anyone can set up a fish pond.
“Researches have shown that 70 per cent of fish we eat presently comes from urban fish farmers, who set up their ponds in urban areas,” the expert said.
Amah also highlighted the advantages of using a tarpaulin pond over other kinds of fish ponds.
He noted that the tarpaulin pond apart for being quite affordable for any start-up farmer, also had a higher propensity for retaining water.
“In fish farming one golden rule is that your holding of water needs to be regulated and the pond should be able to withhold water and not leak away.
“For earthen ponds (Ponds dug on the ground), the farmer needs to locate his farm in a waterlogged area to be able to retain water in the pond.
“However, if the earthen pond is located in a dry land, it will not be able to retain water and the fish may likely die.
“The ability to retain water without leakage is the advantage the tarpaulin ponds have over earthen or concrete built ponds.
“The concrete pond on the other hand needs yearly maintenance that will cost the farmer more than the tarpaulin ponds would.
“This in turn will make the farmer spends more on getting water into the pond with the constant leakage.
“To set up a concrete pond of 1000 fish capacity, you will get to spend thrice as much as it costs to set up a tarpaulin pond. The tarpaulin pond is more cost-effective for any fish farmer,” Amah said.
According to him, to set up a tarpaulin pond will cost between N30,000 to N200,000 depending on the size of the pond.
Amah noted that a regular concrete pond would cost up to N250,000 to N300,000 to set up.
“A business-savvy fish farmer will go for a tarpaulin pond because he can easily make return on investment without spending so much,” he said.