This study examines the potentials for aquaculture development in Anaku community, Ayamelum of Anambra State, Nigeria. A structured interview schedule (questionnaire) was used to collect relevant information from the respondents. Analytical tools used include descriptive statistics (frequency table, bar chart and percentage), chi square and ANOVA using SPSS Version 20. Results obtained from the study show that there is a significant relationship (P0.05) between the socio economic characteristics of the respondents and aquacultural activities have, 82.5% males engaged in fish farming while 17.5% are females engaging in fish processing and trading. 77.5% were traditional worshippers while the active working age is between 24-40. 58.75% of the respondents practised fishing as their only source of income. 50% of the respondents used their local fishing gear such as net, hook and line. 100% of the respondents used natural water bodies for fishing. 85.0% of the respondents buyers came from outside the locality. However, the challenges include- Lack of access to credit, lack of access to materials, high cost of materials, and no formal training, insufficient gears, tedious nature of fishing, lack of fisheries extension services, and governmental support, lack of cold room and standard market. Data on physicochemical properties, heavy metal and biological parameters were analysed to determine the suitability of the water for aquaculture development. The study showed that temperature ranged between 27.33±0.577oC, turbidity between 49.80±5.702cm, nitrate between 1.06.00±0.529mg/l, ammonia between 0.53±0.033mg/l. pH ranges between 6.77±0.057, DO between 99.33±0.57mg/l, lead between o.123±0.015ppm, cadmium between 0.133±0.003ppm, mercury between 0.861±0.101ppm and zinc between 0.518±0.026ppm and iron between 7.436±0.588ppm. The study revealed that the physico-chemical parameters fell within tolerable limit except nitrate while the heavy metals were above the tolerable limit except zinc. There were abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton. Recommendations made in this study include that, people should be trained on the danger of dumping refuse inside the river. Activities should be geared towards reducing or avoiding pollution of the river by the enforcement of environmental laws. Integrated farming can be adopted since they farm rice, and other agro-products.
Aquaculture continues to grow rapidly every day, and then became bigger and bigger industry every year. So understanding the basic part behind aquatic production facilities is of increasing importance for all those working in this industry. Aquaculture requires knowledge and skills of the many general aspects of production such as spawning, production of feeds etc (Anderson, 2004). Fisheries constitute an important sector in Nigerian agriculture, providing valuable food and employment to millions and also serving as a source of livelihoods mainly for women in coastal communities, in view of the ever-increasing importance of fish as a source of high quality animal protein in Nigeria (Nwuba et al., 2009).
Coastal fisheries are important and contributed at least 40 percent of fish production from all sources in Nigeria between 1995 and 2008 (FAO, 2010). According to the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, small scale fisheries provide more than 82 percent of the domestic fish supply, giving livelihoods to one million fishermen and up to 5.8 million fisher folks in the secondary sector comprising processing, preservation, marketing and distribution. Considering Nigeria‘s enormous water resources, human capital and other natural endowments, the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) estimated fish production of over 1.7mmt comprising 201,300mt from inshore (brackish and coastal fisheries), 33,900mt (offshore fisheries), 288,200 (inland fisheries) and 1180215mt (aquaculture).
Nigeria is blessed with numerous water bodies ranging from the marine (Atlantic Ocean), through the brackish waters (deltaic rivers and estuaries) to inland freshwaters (rivers, streams and lakes). Despite these available resources, recent trends have shown decline in the Nigerian capture fisheries and this calls for development of aquaculture especially in fishing communities as they possess the potentials.
Aquaculture is said to be the rational rearing of aquatic organism (fish, shrimp, prawns, water snails) in an enclosed and fairly shallow body of water where all its life processes can be controlled. It is an important sector for the nation’s economic development, at a time when government is seeking for ways to diversify the economy, from being purely oil based. Aquaculture according to Ayinla (2012) is the fastest growing food producing industry in the world. He stated that global aquaculture production has quadrupled over the past twenty years and that aquaculture production is likely to double in the next fifteen years, as a result of wild fisheries approaching their biological limits and the world demand for cultured fish continuing to increase. Various types of aquaculture form an important component of agriculture and farming systems development. This can contribute to alleviation of food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty through the provision of food of high nutritional value, income, and employment generation, decreased risk of monoculture production failure, improved access to water, enhanced aquatic resource management and increased farm sustainability (FAO, 2000. Prein and Ahmed 2000).
Aquaculture has the potential to expand its annual output from the 12% of the total world fish production by weight to more than 20% by the turn of the century (FAO, 1991). It provides a wide range of benefits, not only for human health and nutrition, but also through foreign exchange earning in the world markets and employment on a full time and supplemental basis. This is especially important in economically depressed regions.
Nigeria has high potentials for aquaculture development, despite these potentials, fish production from aquaculture in Nigeria is still very low and-it is estimated as below 25.,607 metric tones in 1989 from total water surface area of about 5500 hectares (Ita, 1993). FDF (1996) gives an average of 16,618 metric tones of fish production through aquaculture from 1985-1994 in Nigeria. According to Miller (2004) an inventory of fish farms has been completed in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with a total of 2,293 fish farms in the country.
This inventory is presently under verification and evaluation and will be compiled into a data base for shared use with all efforts made to use existing database to avoid duplication and facilitate compliments. Ten mostly southern states have 1,774 fish farms or 77% of total. This shows that pond fish farming is practiced in Nigeria where physical conditions (clay soils, water availability) and social economic environment are suitable.
The Federal government of Nigeria is of late, actively pursuing the development of the fisheries sub-sector in order to cope with the rising demand for fish and fish products and also to diversify its oil-based economy. The Federal government’s aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in fish production and ultimately to have fish products available for export. Unfortunately the fisheries sub-sector is under-developed despite it being the source of livelihood for many of the coastal populace. Rapid population growth in developing countries such as Nigeria, increased disposable income and changing consumer preferences has drastically increased the annual demand for aquatic food source. Proliferation of more efficient capture technologies, decades of government subsidies, increased market access even for remote fishing communities, and development programs aimed at increasing production from the fragile open-access resource has led to large scale depletion of fish resources. Thus, there is growing concern over the sustainability of wild fish stocks. The need for long-term investments to ensure the sustainability of production from aquaculture cannot therefore be over-emphasized. Intervention in this seemingly critical but neglected sector can be in the areas of planning, ecosystem-based resource management, post harvest sector, human resource development. This seeks to review the principles, status, trends, and future needs for investments in fisheries and aquaculture.
Concerted efforts to develop aquaculture in Nigeria has passed through distinct periods (1950 –1992) and the attempts to reduce the major constraints for rapid aquaculture development, featured prominently in the second phase of the National Development Plan (Ezenwa, 1994).
1.1 Aim and objectives
The broad objective of this study is to evaluate the potentials of aquaculture development in the fishing community of the study area.
Specific objectives are:
- To determine the suitability of the river for aquaculture purposes.
- To determine the socio-economic characteristics of the respondent in the study area.
- To determine the aquacultural activities carried out in the study area.
- To determine the relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the respondent and the aquacultural activities they practiced.
1.2 Justification of the study
The contribution of aquaculture to the Nigerian economy is tremendous but not properly managed by the individuals as well as the government. Lack of adequate infrastructure, quality control and lack of co-operation contribute the major problems of aquaculture in Nigeria. The level of fish production will increase if proper measures are taken. Therefore, this study is justified as it will provide an insight to the improvement of the socio economic wellbeing of the study area, enlightening the fish farmers of the possibility of using the water body for aquaculture purposes and also to culture fish in cages if the water is found suitable.
1.3 Limitations of Study
Majority of the respondent interviewed were unable to fill the questionnaire themselves which resulted in spending much time on an individual that would have been used in interviewing more than the number interviewed.
Some farmers would not cooperate for they belief the end result of the study will not be of benefit to them
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