Selection of Sites for Aquaculture
The history of aquaculture projects all over the world has led to the conclusion that the right selection of sites is probably the most important factor in determining the feasibility of viable operations. Even though, after many years of painful efforts and of new technology, some farms on poor sites have been turned into productive units, there are many that have been abandoned after considerable investment of money and effort. So there is no gainsaying the basic importance of selecting suitable sites for successful aquaculture. At the same time it has to be recognized that compromises have often to be made, as ideal sites may not always be available, and conflicts over land and water use will have to be resolved. In many situations good, irrigated agricultural land may be the best site for pond farms for fish culture, but national priorities in cereal food production may make it unavailable for aquaculture, irrespective of economic or other advantages. On the other hand many countries, particularly in Asia, are now giving higher priority to aquaculture and farmers are utilizing rice fields increasingly for fish and shrimp culture.
Although site selection will generally be based on the species to be cultured and the technology to be employed, under certain circumstances the order may have to be reversed. If it is decided to bring under culture certain sites, selection may be oriented towards determining the species that can best be cultured there and the most suitable technologies to be used for that purpose, if indeed the site is primarily suited for aquaculture. Limitations in any of the three factors, namely site characteristics, species and appropriate technology, obviously restrict choice of the others. However,as mentioned earlier, in the large majority of cases the species to be cultured would have been determined in advance, based on market requirements and consumer preferences.
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