Biofloc Technology is the new “blue revolution” in aquaculture which ensures sustainable production by breeding fish using minimum resources like feed, water and land and thus preserving the nature. This latest technology is available at a cheap cost and has low technical demands which makes it the fish farmers top choice. This technology promises high economic returns as it cuts down the cost of producing fish to almost a half when compared to the conventional methods.
The technology has been around since the past 8 years or so and is extremely sought after in countries like Japan, India, Thailand and Malaysia, however, it is relatively new in Pakistan. Biofloc technology is an eco-friendly technique used for the production of microorganisms. These microorganisms are converted into hygienic food for the fish. This technology basically helps balance the level of Carbon and Nitrogen in the water which are vital for the production of the bacterias and the microorganisms to feed the fish, therefore saving the cost on feeding them unnatural food.
In Pakistan, at present, this revolutionary technology is not even 1 percent of the total fish production of the country. Reason being that the country is underdeveloped, with no proper expertise and resources. Biofloc technology is also being promoted because it helps save water as it is based upon good pond management which uses minimal water exchange. Fish farming is currently one of the most profitable businesses in Pakistan and it is necessary that the fish farmers here are made aware of this latest method which can help double their profits. By using this technology, the farmers can control the temperature of the water. The traditional farming, on the other, requires the farmers to vacate their ponds before winter as the fish reared in Pakistan is of warm water. However, only omnivore’s fish such as Tilapia and Pangasius can be produced using this technique.
Benefits of Biofloc Technology in Fish Farming
The main disadvantage of the in-depth fish culture in the ponds is to keep a check on the water quality. Before this technology was introduced, the preferred method was to recycle 100% of the water. However, water scarcity has become one of the leading challenges for sustainable development. Also, the replacement of the old water with the new water, often disturbs the reproduction of fish.
Ammonia is the main agent that obstructs fish growth and only fish farmers would be aware of the dangers of it. In Biofloc fish farming, the use of probiotics utilizes the ammonia from the tank. The harmful ammonia is then converted into protein which becomes the fish’s feed. As a result, the amount of artificial feed given to the fish decreases and the cost goes down by 20%-30%. It also reduces water pollution and the spread of pathogens.
The Government of Pakistan should, therefore, equip the youth with technical skills and motivate it to go for Biofloc fish farming. Soft loans should be given out to encourage the people to shift to this efficient farming method that has the potential to reap great economic benefits for the country.