Fish Farming In Gujarat – How To Start, Tips, Ideas

Introduction on How To Start Fish Farming in Gujarat, Facts, and Schemes

What is Fish Farming?: Fish farms or fish farming is defined as the form of aquaculture. It is the process of raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures for human consumption. Fish farming is the art or method of breeding fish and taking care of them till they grow and reproduce and maintaining their growing number in the ponds or tanks. Fish farmers have to take care of fish species and their number and take care that they grow in size so they can be sold in the market for a profitable price. Apart from this fish farm is a business that also offers over 10 times more profits as compared to the start-up amount.

The fisheries sector plays a main role in the Indian economy. It mainly contributes to the national income, exports, food and nutritional security, and employment generation. To increase productivity, in controlled or semi-controlled environment fish farming is the process of raising aquatic organisms commercially. Also, several fish farms operate as fun places where individuals and families can go fishing.

Fish farming is described as several systems like extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive. Commercial fish farming is mainly considered an economically profitable business. There are many types of fast-growing species available. Irresponsible fish harvesting leads to the depletion of natural species and the extinction of some fish species. Thus, fish farming is a way to conserve species and prevent the depletion of natural resources.

A Step-by-Step Guide to How To Start Fish Farming in Gujarat, Facts, and Government Schemes

How To Start Fish Farming in Gujarat
How To Start Fish Farming in Gujarat (Pic source: pixabay)

Selection of Right Spot or Place for Fish Farming in Gujarat

It is important to make the right place selection for constructing a fish pond or tank. It is important to maintain the right temperature level and conditions for fish breeding. You want to keep in mind that temperature plays a major role in the growth of growth cycle of the fish as during winter seasons fish do not grow much in size. The site chosen should have a good water supply all year round and the soil must have a good water retention capacity. Site selection factors can be mainly divided into 3 categories as;

  • Biological
  • Ecological
  • Social

Biological Factors – Some biological factors are concerned with fish species selected for cultural purposes. At the time of establishing a fish farm, seed source, culture type, and species, etc., must be considered.

Ecological Factors – When constructing fish farming ponds, ecological factors like climate, soil, water, and topography are considered. These can be mentioned below;

  • Primarily the soil should be able to hold water in a pond. That is it should have good water retention capacity.
  • Rocky, limestone, sandy soil should be avoided since they cannot retain water.
  • Loamy soil, clayey soil, and silt, etc. are best suited for pond construction.
  • Gravel if present should not be more than 10%.
  • Water must have a neutral pH level. In the case of acidic or alkaline water, suitable corrections must be done accurately.
  • The pond should be constructed near natural water bodies like ponds or rivers.
  • Water salinity is another factor that should be considered as not all fish can tolerate saline water.
  • Land topography is necessary for engineering pond construction. Some areas like industrial zone, flood-prone areas, areas with poor rainfall, and densely rooted vegetation must be avoided.

Social Factors – This is important since the tradition and culture of the place should be taken into account. Then, this would ensure acceptance of the farm by the locales and no legal issues. Other factors include market aspects, transportation, accessibility, and infrastructural facilities, etc.

We need to consider some factors when selecting land for fish farming. Select a place that is big enough. The quality of soil directly affects the quantity and the quality of fish you get. So, select a place with high-quality soil. You must do a soil test to make sure that it is at least over 20% clay and check the relative level of space.

It is very important to make sure that this place is not easily flooded and it will help you to prevent dirty water from entering the bond. The land must have fewer rocks. The continuous flow of water is an important factor in fish farming. You should have access to the municipality water source for starting a fish farm in the city or town area. If you want to start in a village area, it is necessary to find a place near the stream, lake, or river.

Benefits of Fish Farming In Gujarat

Starting a fish farming business in Gujarat has many advantages. The main benefits of setting up a fish farming business in India are discussed below;

  • Fish farming is one of the favorite items on the food menu.
  • Fish related products have high market demand and price.
  • Indian climate condition is suitable for fish production and fish farming business.
  • Different types of easily found water sources are available. You can fill your fish pond with water from your nearest river, lake, or any other water source.
  • Various types of fast-growing fish species are available in India.
  • Fish provides high-quality protein for human consumption and it is a profitable business.
  • To create additional income, fish farming can be integrated into the existing farm.
  • As per the demand, commercial fish farming allows for large supplies of fish.
  • You can raise the fish in tanks easily until they are ready for selling or marketing. Therefore, fish farming helps in preserving natural ecosystems.
  • Demand for fish is increasing with passing days. So, people can start fish farming by allocating some space to their existing farms. Also, it will increase their income substantially.
  • The fish farming business has low-risk factors as the fishes are under confinement. This makes that the outsiders cannot access the place and catch fish.
  • Fishes are safe in the fish tanks, people no do not need to catch wild fishes in large scale production. It helps in restoring natural ecosystems.
  • Another importance of the fish farming business is that it provides employment.
  • To increase accessibility, the fish ponds can be established within the farmer’s compound.
  • Easily available and low-cost labor. Integrated fish farming started with different animals, birds, crops, and vegetables. It reduces feeding costs and ensures maximum production.
  • Fish farming in India is profitable and risk less business. Commercial fish farming can make new income and employment opportunities. It will provide financial freedom and permanent income opportunities.
  • People with other occupations or jobs can start fish farming businesses. If you have suitable land and facilities for the fish farming business then you can easily start doing this business.
  • Fish is highly nutritious. Besides meeting the demands of your consumers, you already have a nutritious meal for your family.
  • Rearing fish will not only create employment for you but other people providing for labor on the farm.
  • About half a million people believe that eating fish has several benefits. This implies that they are good consumers of the same and there is a reliable, stable market for it all the time.
  • The fish farming business is a source of income.

Fisheries Resources in Gujarat

Gujarat is the top position in the Fisheries sector and then it covers 1/5th part of India along the coast as well as it is exclusive economic zone. It mainly contributes about 20% of total marine production. It has a long coastline extending to 1600 km accounts for 19.70% of the total coastline of the country. It has a continental shelf area of 0.18 million km2, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 0.214 million km2, which occupies 32% of the continental shelf area and 10% of the total Exclusive Economic Zone.

The fisheries resources of Gujarat include Elasmobranches, Bombay ducks, Sciaenids, Shrimps, Seer fishes, Tunas, Catfishes, Lizard fishes, Threadfin Breams, Pomfrets, Bull’s eyes, Carangids, Anchovies, Ribbon fishes, Croakers, Prawns, Lobsters, and Cephalopods.

Facts about Fish Framing in Gujarat

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Fish Farming in Gujarat
Fish Farming in Gujarat (Image source: pixabay)

Four Major Categories of Fisheries Sector are;

  • Marine Fisheries
  • Reservoir Fisheries
  • Village Pond Aquaculture
  • Brackish Water Aquaculture

Gujarat topped with annual fish production that is about 7.8 lakh tonnes. The cooperative body of the fishermen cooperatives in Gujarat is the GFCCA (Gujarat Fisheries Central Co-operative Association Limited). It has the longest coastline in the country at 1650 kilometers. Also, fishing is an important contributor to the state’s GDP. The proposal states that the Gujarat fisheries department has established 18 FLCs (fish landing centers) and 5 fishing harbors for fisheries activities. There are approximately 24,720 mechanized fishing boats that operate in Gujarat. Present fishing harbors fish landing centers are necessary only to accommodate about 12% of these fishing boats. Gujarat is at the forefront of marine fish farming in the country. Gujarat occupies about 10% of the total EEZ of India and 32% of the continental shelf area.

The marine fish production in Gujarat is approximately 7 lakhs M. tones, but freshwater fish production is very low and it remained between 9-11% of the total fish production of the state. Its poor growth is because most of the existing natural water resources are not utilized properly for fish cultivation. Pond-based freshwater aquaculture system has been perfected in the country, but it has not been reached the grass-root level due to a poor extension system.

To adopt fish farming as a profession, it is necessary to create awareness among the people of Gujarat. Most of the national fishery policies include the below objectives;

  • To increase employment and income within the fishery sector;
  • To improve the levels of national nutrition mainly the availability of fish protein;
  • To keep maximum utilization of fishery sector;
  • To increase foreign exchange earnings; and
  • To reduce inequities in the income distribution and food supplies within the fishing community.

Different Fish Farming Systems in Gujarat


  • Fish farming is done in the ocean, natural and manmade lakes, and rivers.
  • The fish are grown without the use of fertilizer or farmer feeding.


  • Fish obtain significant nutrition from the food web within their pond, but they are also given supplementary feed at least 2 times per week.


  • Fish are raised in artificial tanks at high densities and are subject to supplemental feeding and fertilization.

Fish Production in Gujarat

The Fisheries management goal is to produce several benefits to the people. Over the last 5 decades, the fisheries sector of Gujarat has undergone radical changes. Gujarat is the 3rd highest fish producer in India (after West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh) and the largest producer of marine fish. The main reason can be the declining fish catch and the quality of the catch. It is reported that about 35% of the catch in the marine sector is low-value miscellaneous fish.

Types of Fishing Nets for Fish Framing

Different types of fishing nets are produced and that is provided to the fishermen.

There are mainly three different types of fishing nets that are obtainable;

  • Nylon multifilament net
  • H.D.P.E. Net
  • Nylon monofilament net

Research Centers for Developing Fisheries in Gujarat

  • The Regional Research Centre (RRC) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)- Gujarat is the 4th research center of the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA)
  • Veraval Research Centre of Central Marine Fisheries Institute in Gujarat

Selecting Fish Species for Fish Farming in Gujarat

Selecting proper fish species play a vital role in the overall production and profit. Always try to raise the fish breeds that are suitable for your location. While selecting fish species consider some factors like market demand of fish, maintaining facilities, natural facilities for fish farming, a great source of sufficient amount of water, effective utilization of resources, and some other important factors.

Inland Fish Species in Gujarat are;

  • Catla – Catla Catla
  • Rohu – Lebeo rohita
  • Mrigal – Cirhhinus mrigala
  • Shondhiya – Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Marine Fish Species of Gujarat are;

  • Sand Lobster – Thenus orientalis
  • Rock Lobster – Panulirus homarus
  • Silver Pomfret – Pampus argentius
  • Black Pomfret – Parastromateus niger
  • Chinese Pomfret – Pampus chinensis
  • Ribbon Fish – Leptracanthus savala
  • Ghol – Protonibea diacanthus
  • Bombay Duck – Harpodon nehereus
  • Indian Salmon – Eleutheronema tetradactylum

Fish Farms and Rearing Centers in Gujarat

  • Number of Fish Seed Production Centers in Gujarat- Five ( Ukai, Palan, Pipodara, Kosmada & Lingda)
  • Private fish seed production hatcheries – Three (Umarvada, Sisodra, Kutch)
  • Number of Rearing Centers – Twenty Two

Feeding Management for Fish Farming in Gujarat

A good and high-quality fish feed can maximize the overall production in fish farming. Most of the farmer in our country mainly depends on natural feeds of the pond. But for commercial production, you should have to provide the fish high quality and nutritious food. Fish-poultry, fish-dairy, fish-duck, fish-pig, fish-paddy, fish-goat, and fish-vegetables are some of the highly profitable integrated fish farming systems.

The food must be selected depending on the fish breed you are having at the farm. You also have to maintain the right hygiene and temperature level of the water in the pond. This means that on regular basis you have to test it for pH level and salinity.

In fish farming, feeding is important for maximum weight as per market standards. While feeding and rearing care must be taken to maintain the water pH level between 7 and 8 for optimal growth. The feed should provide essential nutrients for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. The feed must have essential nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats in addition to other minerals in sufficient quantities. It is easier to maintain natural foods in the fish pond like zooplankton, phytoplankton, and insect larvae, etc. That way, the natural habitat necessary for fish growth is maintained to some extent. The growth of phytoplankton can be given a boost by adding several wastes from organic farming to the pond such as poultry droppings from poultry farming. Also, supplementary feed is given in the moist or dry form.

Consumption of Fish in Gujarat

Fish does not play a substantial role in the food security of Gujarat, as local fish consumption has been believed to be very low. The consumption seems to have gone up as reported by the office of the Commissionarate of Fisheries, Gujarat State.

The domestic consumption of fish in Gujarat is in the form of fresh fish or dry fish. In Gujarat, dry edible fish is consumed in urban centers like Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Surat and smaller towns in the hinterland.

Optimum Conditions for Raising Fish

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Conditions for Raising Fish
Conditions for Raising Fish (Pic source: pixabay)

Plenty of water flow, oxygen, and food are necessary for fish farming.

  • Feeding the Fish – You will need about 1.5 to 2 pounds of feed per pound of fish produced. The cost to produce 1 pound of fish is about 60 cents given the current cost of feed. Usually, fish are fed 2 times a day.
  • Harvesting the Fish – If outdoors, fish ponds are sometimes partially drained to make netting easier. Past systems of harvesting fish have been prohibited and replaced by humane treatment. Fish are killed by electric stunning.
  • Inflow and Outflow – You need a 15 to 25 gallon per minute flow per acre of pond. Inflow and outflows should be kept free of debris.
  • Drainage – Sometimes ponds must be drained so that you can remove vegetation and dredge out mud.
  • Disease Control – Fish can be challenged by all types of health issues like fungi, intestinal worms, bacteria, and protozoa. Fish lice can be a disaster and can spread through water. By water spread, the sea lice can infect a wild fish population.
  • Water Pollution – Poor water quality can happen from stormwater runoff particularly during periods of heavy rains. Anything that’s on the ground surface in the location can be washed into outdoor fish ponds. If the water becomes poor, fish won’t survive properly.
  • Constant water supply is vital for fish growth. Fish rearing with an unreliable water source is not only stressful but also causes unhealthy fish thus effect in low production.
  • Locate a place where there is an interrupted source of fresh and clean water. The selected place must be near the river, lake, streams, or even boreholes.
  • Make sure that your fish pond should be 0.7 meters deep so you can have successful farming.
  • Space between Fish Ponds – For fish farming, you need space between fish ponds to drive and move equipment for feeding and harvesting fish. Also, you may need to do maintenance on ponds, especially to the inflow and outflow. These areas should be accessible by heavy equipment.

How to Start Fish Farming In Gujarat

Step 1) Select the type of fish farming

Fish type is the first important thing if you are going to use for farming. Fish species selection must be based on a maintenance point of view, market demand, management outlook, and availability of resources, etc.

Step 2) Understand the target market

Feasibility analysis and business planning for fish farming are important to be done before starting a fish farming business. Also, you need deep market research before starting a fish farming business and try to understand the local market demand. If you are going to begin a fish farming system or export, talk to the fish processing units. Develop an alternative marketing strategy will differ relied on the type of fish you are raising.

If you are raising fish for commercial food products, re-stocking, then your base will contain large businesses. It needs a higher quantity of fish. Customers select to contact you directly to remove the mediators and to expedite sales.

Step 3) Learn the skills required for the fish farming business

It is important to have some skills in fish farming before starting a business. There are some governments running farms that conduct training programs about fish farming. You can attend those types of programs to learn skills and learn skills through working at a successful fish farm. It will teach you how to perform disease control, water quality, marketing, feeding, and processing. There are some important things that we want to pay attention to for starting a fish farming business. They are given below;

  • Make sure that you have a consistent quality water source for fish farming.
  • Check if the water temperature level is suitable for raising fish.
  • Make sure that we have easy access to the pond for feeding and harvesting.
  • Test the water quality in which you are beginning fish farming bacteriological and chemical.
  • Understand the modern technical method of risk management and risk assessment.
  • Carefully finding out reliable suppliers for fingerlings, fish eggs, and fish feed is important for a successful farming business.
  • Make sure to learn about the permission and legal compliance required to start a fish farming business.

Step 4) Calculate the cost

Fixed capital costs and operating costs are the two types of capital investment. In these, fixed capital cost elements are crafting ponds, land and building, plumbing arrangements, vehicles for transport, oxygen meters, and several tanks, etc. Operating cost elements include buying fingerlings or fish eggs, electricity, fish feed, labor, medicine, telephone, transportation, and other maintenance cost involved.

Before starting fish farming, you should prepare a detailed cost calculation of fish farming. The calculations will change according to the fish type that you are choosing for fish farming, total land area, and desired output. Costs will change depending on the size and scope of the business you are starting.

If you are running at a commercial fish farm business you will need:

  • Land for ponds
  • Equipment for excavating ponds
  • Commercial-sized pumps, aerators, and water sources or reclamation devices
  • Motor and equipment for cleaning the fish pond.
  • Industrial fish food supply
  • Fish farming equipment for shipping and exporting

Step 5) Create an Amazing Business Plan

You’ll need capital to buy the required equipment and a system to keep the water clean and aerated. The integrated recycling systems are expensive, but the price has come down in recent years due to many technological advances. Check into government-backed loans. Fish farming as part of aquaculture systems is mainly considered to be an “alternative” agriculture organization. As an alternative agriculture organization, it can qualify for special financing.

Parts of the Plan:

  • Start small – Start small is important for a successful business
  • Set aside capital for startup costs – Loans as needed after you’ve had a successful production
  • Know the target market and begin promoting your business.
  • Calculate operating costs.

Step 6) Procurement of equipment needed for fish farming

Some of the basic equipment and tools necessary for the fish farming business are given below;

  • Pumps
  • Fish counters
  • Water testing equipment
  • Net/ Seine reels
  • Fish tanks/ Ponds
  • Aeration devices
  • Fish graders

Various Fish Farming Schemes by the Government of Gujarat

Besides Central Government Schemes, the State Government of Gujarat is implementing various need-based programs such as assistance to the fishing vessels for purchasing electrical equipment, lifesaving equipment, Distress Alert Transmission (DAT), fishing nets, assistance to artisanal fishermen, training to fishermen, and extension services. Fish landing centers are also upgraded by the State Government.

Some of the main schemes implemented for the development of fishermen in the state are;

  • Subsidy for acquiring Modern Equipment’s
  • Motorization/Mechanization of Traditional Craft/Boats
  • Safety Measures on Fishing Boats
  • Processing, Preservation and Marketing
  • Buying of Gill Nets for Small and Pagadiya Fishermen
  • Care for Training of Scheduled Caste Youth Fishermen
  • Schemes for some Fishing Activities in Salty Water
  • Housing scheme for Fishermen
  • Scheme for Fish Seeds Collection
  • Scheme for Boat/ Fishing Nets
  • Assistance for Purchase of Plastic kits or boxes for fish transporting
  • Support for establishing group hatchery for colorful fishes
  • Group Accident Insurance for active fishermen

Harvesting and Marketing for Fish Framing in Gujarat

In fish farming, it must be noted that different species of food are harvested at different stages. For you to get maximum food and to provide quality fish to your customers, you must ensure that they are harvested in the right way and at the right time.

Without proper marketing facilities, you can’t desire good production in fish farming. The main facility of commercial fish farming in India is that you can simply sell your products at the proper price.

Fish has huge demand in the international market in India. Then, you can ensure more profit by exporting the fish to foreign countries. For international marketing from India, a farmer’s association should set up a business. So that we can simply sell our products in the international market for gaining more profit. Fish demand is increasing with population growth and the demand will increase even more in near future.

Constraints in Fish Framing in Gujarat

The fishing industry sector is the financial growth of Gujarat as it has the largest coastal line in India. Gujarat has a vibrant potentiality fishery growth. Also, Gujarat is well known to be heterogeneous for inland water resources. The people residing along the coastal belt of the state, the rivers lakes, and reservoirs have been found traditionally engaged in fishing, religious restrains the domestic demand of fish is low. As a result, the major part of fish and fishery products farmed in the state goes out either to other states or to a foreign country. The main causes of these fluctuations included;

(1) Fish migration and changes in their accessibility at several times of the day and the year;

(2) Variations in the fish population sizes; and

(3) Differences in the intensity of fishing.

There is frequently an interrelationship between the availability of the abundance of the fish and the intensity of fishing. Because of the large protein needs of the human race, the greatest possible yield must be sought.


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