How to start fish farming business

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The thought of how to start a fish farming business has been a point of concern for people who are thinking of making huge money from farming.

Fish is a healthy and nutritious source of protein that is very popular around the world. Industrial fish farming, or aquaculture, provides almost half of the world’s seafood and is expected to increase over time as more people embrace fish farming due to its lucrative nature.

One of the most lucrative businesses that you can venture into is fish farming and that is why you should pay attention to what will be discussed here about how to start a fish farming business.

Fish farming can also be called aquaculture. Fish farming is one of the most common types of farming. Fish farming is the system in which fish are raised for sale or for consumption.
A good way to venture into the agro-industry and generate good income from fish farming.
Whether you are a new farmer looking to start a fish farming business or an existing farmer looking to increase your capacity, please contact us for your complete business plan and feasibility study.

Why you should learn how to start a Fish Farming Business

There will always be a Huge Demand for Fishes

Fish is one of the main sources of protein, fish is widely consumed on a large scale. Thus, the demand for fish remains stable throughout the year. Fish are known to grow quickly. So investing in a fish farming business will result in a huge sponsorship and a source of money.

It is affordable and can be started by anybody

It is a known fact that fishes are cheaper when compared to most meat products and hence, sells faster. It is an attractive venture as it remains the top choice for consumers in terms of affordability.

Rapid Growth

The growth pattern of fish is fast. This singular characteristic of fishes ensures that fish farmers can harvest and sell in a short time.

Low Cost of Set-Up is required

Fish farms are easy to set up. It can be set up in residential areas as well as on a large scale.

Fish farming can be easily practiced alongside any type of farming.

Fish farming business is one of the most lucrative agricultural business one can venture into.

You might also be interested in: 9 things to know before opening a business

Methods of Fish Farming

Fish farming can range from “backyard” subsistence ponds to large-scale industrial enterprises. Cropping systems can be expressed in terms of input levels.
Extensive fish culture: In extensive fish culture, economic and labor inputs are generally low. The type of food used is natural fish. The productivity of the system is relatively low. Fertilizers are used to increase fertility and therefore fish production.
Semi-intensive fish farming: involves higher labor and feed costs as well as higher fish yields compared to the extensive fish farming method. It requires a moderate level of inputs and fish production is increased by the use of fertilizers.
Intensive fish farming: This type of fish farming method involves a high level of inputs and stocking the ponds with as many fish as possible. The type of fish food used here is complementary food, while natural food plays a minor role.

The target market for fish farmers


Eateries and Event Centers


Individuals and Households


Frozen food sellers

Types of fish to consider when starting a fish farming business


Tilapia is a cheap fish with a mild flavor.
The following attributes of the tilapia fish make it one of the most widely cultivated fish in aquaculture
• grow quickly in hot temperatures;
• good tolerance to poor water quality;
• eat a wide variety of naturally occurring food organisms;
• grows quickly and consumes an inexpensive vegetarian diet.


Catfish are the most common type of fish raised in fish farms. In fact, the catfish market is important because there is always demand all year round. When it comes to diet, it is important to feed the catfish a good quality feed to ensure rapid growth and optimal size.
Some characteristics of the catfish are:
• It is broadly acceptable;
• Can be grown anywhere;
• Catfish breathe fresh air from the atmosphere;
• Catfish can survive harsh climatic and aquatic conditions;
• can be processed for domestic use or for export;
• Can survive and grow in oxygen-poor brackish water.

9 Factors necessary for starting a fish farming business

The fish farming business is very lucrative in Nigeria and you can be successful if you are determined and can also employ the right strategies in the business.

Yet as lucrative as fish farming can be, a lack of proper information concerning the business can lead to huge losses.

Here are the major steps you need to take before embarking on this business.

1. Write a business plan

It is a very crucial part of setting up your business and should be the first step. Writing a business plan involves carrying out a feasibility study, documenting goals and objectives, and doing proper market research to know what is obtainable.

You can read this article about How to write a Business Plan step by step

A well-documented business plan can give you access to loans and other financial support both from the government and investors. In writing a fish farming business plan, the following information needs to be documented;

  • Executive Summary
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Products and Services
  • Location
  • Market Research and Strategy
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Financial Projection
  • Size
  • Possible business expansion

2. Register your business

After the business plan has been created, the next step is to register your business. By registering your business, you become one of the certified business owners in Nigeria and can enjoy every benefit tailored to registered businesses.

You will need to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the agency in charge of business registration in Nigeria.

3. Get adequate training

To be successful in Fish farming, you need to get adequate knowledge, technical skills, and training.

Training here doesn’t mean the kind of training you get from one-day seminars as proper training will help you identify healthy fish, prevent disease outbreaks, understand the type of medication, and the time of administration of the medication.

In other to run the farm effectively, you can learn under a practicing fish farmer as an apprentice or get an expert. You just also take some online courses, read books and do lots of research via Google.

4. Get a good location for the fish pond

After determining the type of fish, you want to breed the next thing is to find a space for the fish pond. A fish pond can be situated almost anywhere because fish doesn’t cause any environmental disturbance.

You can either hire or buy land, depending on how you intend to run it. Also, if you have leftover space in your compound that can accommodate two or three ponds, you can use it.

5. Construct the pond, a borehole, and overhead tank

As a starter, it is best for you to consult an expert in other to know the pond type that is best for you based on where you intend to carry out the activities of the farm.

There are three major types of ponds; and they are, earthen pond, concrete pond, and plastic tank pond.

In addition to the fish pond, you’ll also require a borehole and overhead tank to supply water to the fish. Ensure you get experts to do this so as to avoid any mistakes that might bring about a loss in the future.

6. Determine the species of fish you want to breed

There are numerous species of fish around the world. All of those species are not suitable for farming according to the weather and climate of Nigeria. That is why the most popular fish usually used in this business is the catfish.

The catfish equally have other species so you might have to consult an expert to determine which one would thrive well in your environment.

7. Purchase your fingerlings or juveniles

Fingerlings are the baby fish you’ll need to start your farm and are also known as juveniles.

The best practice if you’re just starting a fish farm in Nigeria is to buy juveniles.

There are fish farmers that specialize in hatching fingerlings and selling juveniles.

8. Choose the right fish feed

For successful fish farming in Nigeria and better production, you have to feed the fish good and nutritious supplementary fish feed.

You can also use some low cost conventional or unconventional animal by-products and plant residue in fish feed.

There are three means of food for your fish.

  • Natural fish feed. This is found naturally in the pond. This includes; detritus, bacteria, plankton, worms, insects, snails, aquatic plants, and fish (yes, fish eat fish if they`re hungry).
  • Supplementary fish feed. This usually includes cheap materials locally available such as terrestrial plants, kitchen wastes, or agricultural by-products. The supplementary feed may be good, but they are not for the serious fish farmers (except if he includes the other types of feeds). Many people who are into fish farming in Nigeria are using supplementary feeds. some to their profit, others to their loss.
  • Complete feed. This is a carefully made fish feed. They`re usually of good ingredients and nutrients, made by the experts who understand the perfect formula for the fish at a different stage.

9. Marketing

As with most businesses, marketing is very important as you need people to know about what you do.

Start with a marketing strategy that should involve creating a website and social media handles. Word of mouth should also be used. Take the awareness to restaurants, supermarkets, and everywhere that needs fish.

For fast sale and cheap, easy awareness, you can list your products for free on It’s a global agriculture marketplace that allows farmers sell their products for free and in their own currencies.

About the author


Israel Otoijamun is the founder of Ofarms.Co and PrintLab Studio.

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