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Key Conditions / Aquaculture  
  Fish   Shrimp
  Aquaculture is a huge industry and is the world's fastest growing food sector. It is estimated that global production from capture fisheries and aquaculture supplied about 157.5 million tonnes of fish in 2012 (forecast). Of this total, 67.3 million tonnes were from aquaculture production (Globefish 2012). Aquaculture has seen a worldwide expansion over the past 20 years and it seems that growth is set to continue. Alongside, and perhaps partly due to this rapid expansion, the condition of farmed fish has received increasing attention. Fish condition is an important issue for the industry, not just for public perception, marketing and product acceptance, but also often in terms of production efficiency, quality and quantity.

With the sustained growth of the aquaculture industry and increasing scientific discussion over the potential for negative events to give rise to suffering, research into the condition of cultured fish and shrimp is vital. How we define and measure condition is cause for debate, particularly in aquaculture. However, research into the effects of aquaculture procedures on condition is crucial to produce data and recommendations for best practice and future prospects. Both behavioural and physiological measures of condition are necessary for correct interpretation and while there is a wealth of knowledge on the physiological consequences of many aquaculture practices it is now equally important for us to understand the behavioural responses to these practices and to relate them to fish condition. Stocking density, diet, feeding technique and management procedures all have strong effects on stress responses, subsequent stress tolerance, health and the occurrence of disease. Strategies to reduce disease susceptibility, minimise stress responses and avoid aggression are, therefore, vital.

Aquaculture being a multidisciplinary subject, would strive to enhance the input use-efficiency while reducing the cost of production, improve nutritive quality of fish and shrimp, and produce safe fish and shrimp as well as to minimize risks/hazards and post-harvest loss etc.

Fish or shrimp production in pond is a function of the composition and compatibility of the candidate species, efficient pond management, proper nutrition and effective health management. Culture and breeding technology vis-à-vis seed production is the prime and critical part of aquaculture practice.

Water quality
Maintaining good water quality in production ponds is absolutely essential. Failure to do so will result, at best, in poor growth and high feed conversions or, at worst, a total loss of all fish in the pond. Remember that the fish in the pond are living in their own wastes. Thus, the weight of fish that can be produced in a pond is limited by the ability of that pond to provide adequate oxygen, not only to keep the fish alive but to enable them to metabolize their food and grow, and to break down nitrogenous wastes. To achieve production rates in excess of 2,500 pounds per acre per year, the farmer must be able to insure that good water quality is maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Water is the universal solvent; is essential for all life; does not exist in pure state under natural conditions; and is relatively stable both chemically and physically. A fish/shrimp farmer should be aware of the physical and chemical properties of water.

Water management
A study made by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reveals that by 2025 nearly 1/3rd of world’s population would live in the regions of severe water scarcity (less than 1,000 m3 per head per year) and the same proportion of population in India could face absolute water scarcity (less than 500 m3 per head per year). The common notion that “Water is a free commodity” is no more a reality. Therefore, it is high time to think for judicious management of this natural resource and to develop strategies for its efficient and multiple uses. Since water is the prime requirement for aquaculture activity, maintaining the pace of aquaculture development is possible only through making it available adequately for aquaculture besides satisfying the agricultural, industrial and domestic need. The limited nature of the water resource, therefore, warrants a more holistic approach to water management.

In aquaculture ponds, possible water sources are regulated inflow either from feeder canal, ground water, precipitation and runoff. Possible causes of water losses may be evaporation, seepage, effluent discharge and overflow and associated factors which are to be carried out to assess the water requirement for aquaculture ponds. Based on the observation attempts may be made to develop a suitable model to predict the water requirement in aquaculture pond. The water budgeting for different species and target of productions may form the practical tools for generating useful information for mitigating the challenges on water for aquatic production.

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