Production parameters and economics of small-scale tilapia cage aquaculture in the Volta Lake, Ghana
- To calculate the potential for cage aquaculture to create economic opportunities for small-scale investors on the Volta Lake, Ghana, a local NGO with technical support from the Government of Ghana ran two trials (one of four and one of six units) of small-scale cage aquaculture in the town of Dzemeni. Cages were built locally from available materials at a cost of approximately US$1000 per 48 m3 cage. An indigenous line of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was stocked either as mixed sex (first trial) or all-males (second trial) at an average rate of 103 fish/m3 and grown on locally available pelleted feeds for approximately six months. Total costs averaged US$2038 per six-month production cycle. Gross yield ranged from 232 to 1176 kg/cage, averaging 460 kg/cage (9.6 kg/m3). Final average weight of mixed sex populations (253.05 ± 47.43g) was significantly less than of all-males (376.7 ± 72.30g). Likewise, percentage of fish over 300 g at harvest was significantly lower in mixed-sex (38.3%) compared to all-male (75.7%) populations. Mortality resulting primarily from poor handling during transport and stocking averaged 70% and was a major determinate of production and profitability. To break even, harvested biomass of fish needed to exceed 15 kg/m3. At 25 kg/m3, small-scale cage aquaculture generated a net income of US$717 per cage per six months (ROI = 30.2%) on revenues of US$3,500. Water quality in the area surrounding the cages was not negatively affected by aquaculture at the scale tested (5 tons of feed per six months).
- External link to download this item: https://doi.org/10.1080/10454438.2010.527591
- Sustainable aquaculture 
- Journal Article
- Taylor and Francis Ltd.