“Hey, son, let’s go fishing!” – probably, every father wants to say and every son wants to hear these words. Unfortunately, such and event most likely will be spoilt because of the trivial cause – practically there is no big fish in the rivers and lakes of Uzbekistan. You may catch nothing. Of course, the process is important but it is wanted to catch a fish and make fish soup on the river bank.
There are several reasons for such situation. The main cause is our regulated rivers. Environmental conditions for fish are disturbed by building of huge amount of hydrological constructions. The fish often have no conditions for normal moving, spawning and reproduction.
Another global problem of impoverishment of fish reserves of our country is a state of affairs, when some “smart entrepreneurs”, taking a situation, catch the fish illegally. They know that sometimes everyone wants to have fresh fish. The population of the country is growing. If something is in permanent demand, they try to satisfy it in any way in order to make profit. Such a massive catching, which does not consider the aspects of restoration of the fish population, causes irreversible damage to water ecosystem and step by step it is leading to extinction of some species of fish. The fish is lacking more and more and fish becomes more and more expensive in the market. What are the ways for solving this problem?
The approach of the GEF SGP project is to beat poachers with the price. Potential entrepreneurs in the fish industry should be provided with technologies of fish breeding in artificial conditions so that they that they would be more attractive (profitable and sustainable) than fishing. Then a farmer would grow fish with high benefit, and people would go to the natural ponds in order to rest, to enjoy recreational or sport fishing as tourists, including tourists from the whole world.
The technology, which has been successfully applied in Europe, is being tested in the framework of our project. The technology consists of the breeding of fish in the closed water supply installation (CWI). This installation can be built in any farm. It does not need much land and water that is essential in conditions of Uzbekistan. Its specificity consists of repeated use of water which is cleaned by special filters. The permanent temperature and fixed feeding mode are being maintained in the system. In such conditions the speed of fish mass increase is growing many times in comparison with the growth of fish in ponds or fishing in natural basins.
For comparing, nowadays natural basins give 0,5-6 kg of fish from 1 hectare, the existing fish farms achieve the productivity of 900 – 1600 kg/hc of. The best CWI systems allow to reach the productivity of 200 – 400 kg per 1m3. At the same time, the work experience of the investigators in the latest years show that for a wide range of fresh-water fish one can create a relatively simple, inexpensive and practical CWI with a minimum of necessary equipment that makes this system more attractive for our farmers. This project was created for this direction. This GEF SGP project targets at CWI with the productivity of at least 20 kg/m3. Even with such a minimal productivity the amount of fish which is being produced by fish farms within the territory of 10, 000 hectares, can be produced within the territory of 1,000 ha, using water 10 times less.
Of course, this technology requires relatively much initial investment. However, the more expensive the equipment is, the higher is the productivity of the purchased system.
The essence of the GEF SGP project is to test the CWI systems in Uzbekistan conditions and to spread this technology in the areas where an active fishing in natural ponds is currently taking place. Production of just 1 ton of fish will prevent catching of this quantity from the area of 850 hectares of natural lakes.
A part of fish harvest, received in the project, will be sent free of charge to one of the orphanages.
Brief information about project team:
Applicant and Executor: Institute of Zoology, Academy of Science of Uzbekistan
Official name of the project: Development of the intensive aquaculture as an effective way to decrease pressure on natural fish stock populations in Aral Sea watershed
Project manager: Bakhtiyor Karimov
Contact Phone Numbers: +998 90 186 19 87 (mobile); +998 71 246 07 18 (office)
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