A fish farming expert, Okon Amah, has urged local fish farmers to apply basic preventive measures, including using bitter leaf juice, to stop fish mortality in their ponds.
Amah made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
“The basic step is that you need to change your water regularly and feed the fish regularly to prevent mortality because fish are cannibalistic in nature.
“Fish mortality can also be prevented by the addition of salt to the pond water, salinity in water helps prevent the death of fish.
“It can get messy when bacteria overruns your fish pond. Salt fights bacteria in fish water and without it, bacteria will spread and this will lead to the death of the fish in their numbers.
“To avoid bacteria from overrunning your ponds, at least change your water every two weeks and add salt in it.
“However, we have to be careful on the amount of salt we put in the fish pond. Most times we recommend one kilogram of salt to 1000 litres of water,” Amah said.
The expert also harped on the application of organic preventive measures in preserving fish health and boosting productivity in the fish pond.
According to him, the application of organic preventive measures such as bitter leaf juice in the fish ponds can prevent bacteria infection and mortality in the farms.
“Bitter Leaf juice is very effective in preventing death in fish farms, it also help populate the beneficial microbes that are needed for fish growth and development.
“Bitter Leaf juice also contains a lot of antioxidants that helps to eliminate free radicals in the fish ponds.
“To prevent mortality in fish, you must not stress your fish, that means we do not feed after changing water or change water immediately after feeding.
“Stressing your fish will lead to mortality and loss of so many of them.
“Also after changing water, the fish need to stabilise before you feed them so they do not get sick and die,” Amah said
In addition, the expert called on local fish farmers to buy good stock of juveniles in order to boost fish productivity.
“To also prevent fish mortality, you need to buy good juveniles or fingerlings because some genetic makeup of the fingerlings can also affect their mortality rates.
“Owing to bad genetic makeup, some fish die when they get to some certain age and there is nothing the farmer can do about it.
“Farmers are usually advised to get good stock from reliable sources so as to prevent mortality of fish in their farms,” he added.