Tereza Okava wrote:I used to translate a lot of research in the area of fish farming, most about what could be added to fish chow in order to produce better results more cheaply (off the top of my head I can think of studies on using orange peels, crab shells, and grain mill waste over the past year or three), which indicates you're not the only one wondering how costs can be cut.
The studies didn't specifically address Arapaima (they're also in my region, here we call them pirarucu) but if I recall they are fast growers and get BIG, and i imagine they do have very specific nutritional needs because they grow so large and so fast. I imagine you've already seen it in your research, but the FAO has a nice factsheet about farming pirarucu, and a major stumbling block for farming these fish is reproduction. If you haven't read it yet, you might find this interesting. http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Arapaima_gigas/en
Windy Huaman wrote:
At $2 per kilo the total feed investment for this one fish that is $80. [..]
I'd like to know how people are actually making a profit by raising such fish. It just doesn't seem like a sure business venture.
Dillon Nichols wrote:I know nothing about any of these fish, or Peru, and not that much about aquaponics...
That feed cost is insane by my standards. My experience is with hog and chicken feed. This stuff is expensive here, compared to more agricultural parts of Canada not located on an island far from grain country, and VERY expensive compared to the USA.
And yet a metric ton of feed costs me, a small farmer with zero bargaining power, around $670. 67 cents a kilogram, Canadian dollars, around 48 cents USD.
It seems clear that anyone selling those fish for the price you describe is either using a much more economical feed, or is being heavily subsidized in some way. Or, they are not selling at that price; I wonder what that fish is worth somewhere else?
In my region, successful fish farms are generally biggish. There is a lot of economy of scale to be leveraged. Aquaponics on a modest scale may have more profit potential from the produce side.. at least, that would be my guess for my region. In that case, a slow growing but cheap to feed fish might make sense despite the lower market value.