Mrigal fish farming is very popular along with two other popular carp fish species namely Rui and Catla. And the mrigal fish is very suitable for commercial freshwater fish farming business. Mrigal fish has long body, lower body parts are straight lengthwise and their upper lip is curved downwards.
Currently mrigal fish farming is very common and widely cultivated in the Southeast Asian countries. And the fish has long been important in polyculture with other native fish species, especially with Rui and Catla fish.
Today, the mrigal fish has become an important component in the fish farming systems of Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Laos, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan. It has also been introduced into China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Mauritius and Vietnam.
In a world, mrigal fish farming is very popular and it’s popularity is increasing gradually. As the global food demand is increasing, so the popularity of freshwater fish species like mrigal is also increasing. And commercial mrigal fish farming business can be a great way for earning some extra money.
How to Start Mrigal Fish Farming
Mrigal fish farming is very easy and simple. You can easily raise this fish along with other fish species in your pond. Taste of mrigal fish is excellent, so the market demand and price is also very high. So, you can make good profit if you have pond and start mrigal fish farming in it. However, here we are describing about all the steps for starting mrigal fish farming business.
Try to select a site with full sun for starting mrigal fish farming business. It will also be very good if you can select an area which is free from noise and pollution. And also try to select the site far from residential area, because lands far from residential areas are much cheaper.
Pond Construction & Size
After selecting a good site, you have to construct a pond in it. But if you already have ponds then you are ready to go. Natural or earthen ponds are preferred and good for commercial production. You can also construct concrete or plastic ponds, but both of these will cost you more money.
You can use either machine or manual labor for constructing your pond. And the size of your pond can be any depending on your land. But we recommend 1 acre sized pond for freshwater fish farming business. Although you can use any other sizes or your existing ponds for starting mrigal fish farming business.
You have to prepare the pond perfectly before stocking fish into it. Apply lime and both organic and inorganic fertilizers into the pond for enhancing natural feed/plankton production. Applying lime will sterile the pond and applying organic and inorganic fertilizers will help in plankton production.
Leave the pond for several days after applying lime and fertilizers into it. And then fill it with water, and you will notice natural food production within a few days. Exact amount of lime and fertilizers depends on many factors. So it is very tough to tell the exact amount. Please contact with any of your nearest aquaculture specialist or any fisheries institute for more information.
Mass scale seed production of mrigal fish in hatcheries through induced breeding now supplies almost the entire seed requirement in all the producing countries where this fish available. Although reverine collection still forms the source of seed in certain small areas.
You should try to collect seed from the trusted sources. There are many breeding hatcheries to collect the seed. Contact your nearest fisheries institute or agriculture extension office for having more information about the available mrigal fish hatcheries in your area.
Rearing the Fingerlings
Initially, you have to raise the fingerlings in a nursery pond, and then stock in the main pond. You can stock up to 0.1 to 0.2 million fry per acre in the nursery pond. Then the fries are raised for up to their 10 grams body weight and then stocked in the main pond.
Stocking in the Main Pond
You can stock the fingerlings into the main pond when they are large enough or reach about 10 grams of body weight. As we have mentioned above, you should not stock only mrigal fish in your pond. Rather you should stock it with other fish species. It is very important for mrigal fish farming, because mrigal fish is a bottom feeder (they consume food from the bottom level of the pond).
So, you should stock mrigal fish with mid and upper level fish. And Rui and Catla will be very good for this purpose. Stocking ratio of rui, catla and mrigal can be 30:30:40 respectively. And you can stock a total of 25,000 to 30,000 fish in an one acre pond. You can also consult with an aquaculture specialist in your area for having better recommendation.
Feeding the Fish
You should always feed your fish with very good quality feeds for keeping your fish healthy. Applying fertilizers in the pond will help to produce sufficient amount of natural fish feed into the pond. Although, you need to apply additional supplementary fish feeds for better growth of your fish.
Ready-made commercial carp fish feeds will be very good for this purpose. And you can also produce the feeds of your own. Just follow the steps mentioned on our website.
Harvesting the mrigal fish is very difficult by using dragnet, because the mrigal fish are bottom dwellers. And complete harvesting of mrigal fish is only possible through draining. Cast nets are also often used for partial harvesting in small and backyard ponds.
The mrigal fish is generally marketed fresh in the local markets. Although, long distance transport and marketing of mrigal fish is also possible by packing with crushed ice at the ratio of 1:1. Try to send the fish to the market as soon as possible after harvesting.
These are the common steps for mrigal fish farming. Hope you have learned a lot from this guide! Good luck & may God bless you!