Impact of Covid-19 On Fish Farming & Advantages of Biofloc Technology
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted human lives in more ways than one can imagine, the negative repercussions of which are now being seen in fish farming as well. Disruptions in the supply chain and decreased consumption of aquatic food due to panic created by the spread of misinformation are some of the current concerns. Across India and the world, fish farming is intrinsic to the identity and survival of many poor and vulnerable communities. The fish and other aquatic food are essential for the nutritional requirements of many. It is important to maintain food security and therefore imperative for good human health and well-being. With the blow to demand for fish, employment opportunities in the aquaculture sector have taken a big hit as well.
Up until now, there are no substantiated reports or studies which have proven that the Covid-19 can be transmitted through the consumption of aquatic life or fish. Better knowledge dissipation through clear communication regarding the transmission of the virus is extremely important at this point in time. With the pandemic showing nearly no signs of going away as of yet, this move could be critical to saving the livelihoods of many and economies of many countries around the world.
A study regarding the presence of Ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in sewage water. This study was conducted in different countries like Australia, France, the Netherlands, and the United States. The viral particles have been found to be less stable in wastewater and susceptible to chlorine, pH, and temperature. A recent report from WHO states that infectivity of the viral particles through aerosols (which is its primary mode of infection) is possible for only up to 16 hours. Considering all the points, it is not yet clear if the viral transmission in water is even possible. More investigation and study is the need of the hour.
Aquaculture is carried out with staggering amounts of water. Like any other live system, the water on these systems needs to be cleaned and treated in order to ensure the growing fish remain healthy. With rising real estate rates, higher demand, and competitive prices, aquaculturists are required to cultivate fish in much higher densities. This makes it all the more important to have a self-cleaning system in place to ensure that the fish do not undergo any sort of stress which can hamper their health and survival. Biofloc system is a viable option that can allow fish farming with less land and scarce water. It is effective in pond based aquaculture as well.
Simply put, Biofloc technology is a natural, self renewable, and cost-effective waste treatment system for aquaculture. This technology is regarded as a revolution in aquaculture today. The beneficial bacteria in the microscopic bioflocs act as tiny cleaners and degrade the organic waste in the water. These flocs naturally grow in size and act as a source of feed for fish in return. The system only works with sunlight, aeration system, and carbohydrate which are available to aquaculturists anyway.
The technology behind biofloc fish farming
When feed is given to the fish in the tank, there is uneaten feed left behind, feces, and extra nutrients left behind in the water. The floc or biofloc in biofloc technology, which is microscopic in nature, is a heterogeneous aggregate of suspended particles or organic matter, physical substrate, and probiotic organisms held together by electrostatic attraction and bound by bacterial mucous. When the aggregate becomes large it acts as a rich protein-lipid natural source of food & probiotics for fish, containing vitamins and minerals too. The nitrogen in protein is discharged as waste. The heterotrophic bacteria in biofloc technology reduces the nitrogenous waste as well. This can be treated using advanced and natural biological solutions.
Thus, the biofloc technology carries out the maintenance of water and improves its quality, recycles nutrients by reducing feed conversion rate, and competes against pathogens. It acts similar to probiotics. About 60 to 70% of the variable cost is attributed to feed. The cost and water scarcity have been an issue for farm fishing and directly impacted food security. But the biofloc system improves fish health, provides better farm profitability and it is a sustainable and eco-friendly process as well.
You can also use Bioflok, an excellent product from Organica Biotech specifically created for biofloc technology. The dense probiotic formulation containing highly beneficial bacteria breaks down nitrate and ammonia and helps in healthy floc formation. In the time of Covid-19, biofloc technology is a boon for fish farming and you can use Bioflok to keep you fish farm healthy, happy with fantastic productivity.