Small-scale fish farming in seasonal ponds in Brazil: technical and economic characterization
Rodrigues,Ana Paula Oeda
ABSTRACT The inclusion of aquaculture in household agriculture has been related as an opportunity of product and income diversification as wells as to increase food security for farmers. Small-scale fish production has increased in Brazil, even in regions with a pronounced dry season. However, there is no information about the characteristics and technical and economic viability of aquaculture under these conditions. This study was carried out with the objective to characterize the production of tambatinga (♀Colossoma macropomum × ♂Piaractus brachypomus) in water deficit conditions in Tocantins State, Brazil. The study revealed that it is technically possible and economically feasible to produce tambatinga in seasonal ponds. Worth noting was the adaptability of the hybrids which showed a suitable growth and tolerance to the poor water quality conditions. However, in order to achieve production success and financial returns, the adoption of the following procedures are suggested: a) fish stocking as soon as the rainy period starts, b) use of larger juveniles to achieve a higher final weight, c) adoption of pond liming and fertilizing practices previous to stocking, d) water quality monitoring, e) evaluate fish growing performance, f) partial harvesting during the production cycle, and g) total harvesting at the end of the rainy season.