Effects Of Compounded Diets With Varying Crude Biology

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Aquaculture has been accepted the world over as a means for increasing fish production and a developing country like Nigeria with her immense resources offer tremendous possibilities for fish culture (Dada and Gnanadoss, 1983). Aquaculture expansion has been in slow process as private sector fish farmers face major constraints, such as lack of seed and quality feed (FAO, 2003). Fish is an important source of both food and income to many people in developing countries. In Africa, as much as 5% of the population, some 35 million people depends wholly or partly on the fisheries sector for their livelihood (FAO, 1996a). It is estimated that by 2050, when world population is projected to be over 9 billion, Africa will have to increase food production by 300%, Latin America by 80% and Asia 70% to provide minimally adequate diets for the projected population of 2 billion, 810 million and 5.4 billion people in the respective regions (Anon,1997).

The consumption and demand for fish as a cheap source of protein is on the increase in Africa, because of the level of poverty in the land. The vast majority of the fish supply in most cases comes from the rivers in the continent. While capture fisheries based on species that are presently exploited seem to have reached their natural limits (FAO, 1996b), there is considerable potential to expand aquaculture in Africa in order to improve food security (Kapetsy, 1994; Engle 1997, Jamu and Ayinla, 2003). Although potentials abound in the continent for the development of viable fish farming, one of the major hindrances to the development of aquaculture industry in Africa is the lack of locally produced high-quality fish feed. Fish requires high quality nutritionally balanced diet for growth and attainment of market size within the shortest possible time. Therefore local production of fish feed is very crucial to the development and sustainability of aquaculture in Africa especially, in the rural areas. For aquaculture to thrive and bridge the already existing wide gap between fish demand and supply especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa, the vital role of locally produced fish feed in reducing production cost, thereby making fish farming attractive to both private and commercial investors and ultimately boost fish production cannot be overemphasized.

Catfish family Clariidae is very popular in Nigeria due to its culture characteristic which has endeared it to many fish farmers. Catfishes of the genus Clarias (Siluroidei, Claridae) are widespread in tropical Africa and Asia (Sudarto, 2007). Clarias gariepinus, generally considered to be the most important clariid species for aquaculture in Nigeria. Clarias gariepinus is a freshwater catfish with great aquaculture potentials (Teugels et al., 1990; Williams, 1997). The species is widely accepted by fish farmers and consumers because of its taste, fast growth rate and moderate price. They are widely cultured owing to their high market price, fast growth rate, disease resistance ability and ability to withstand adverse pond conditions especially low oxygen content.

Traditionally fish meal had always been the commonest and most popular source of protein for commercial fish feed production. Johnston (2004) reported that global supply of fish meal would not be sufficient to satisfy demand during the course of 2004, despite a slow fish meal market in Europe at present, according to the organization which represents the word's fish meal manufacturers. Johnston (2004) further opined that the global tightness (of fish meal) could be exacerbated by the possible lifting of a current EU ban on fish meal in ruminants diets in January 2005. Whatever the scenario globally, fish meal will always be the costliest single ingredient protein input in fish feed production.

However, the scale of commercial fish culture is hampered by, among other factors, the non-availability of suitable and cost-effective supplementary feed. Consequently most small-scale and homestead fish farmers resort to the primordial practice of feeding with single ingredient feeds which are usually in meal or bran form. The use of well-compounded pelleted feed considerably increases the profit margin of fish production. However, fish feeds are expensive and can account for over two-thirds of the variable costs in fish culture operations ( Balogun et al., 1992).

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aims and objectives of this experiment is as follows:

To compound fish feed with varying dietary protein level (30%CP, 35%CP, 40%CP and 45%CP) using local protein sources like blood meal, soybean meal and groundnut meal.

To determine the growth response of Clarias on readily available local protein sources like blood meal, soybean meal and groundnut meal in practical feeds in Glass aquaria.

CHAPTER TWO2.0

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