Aquaculture Cages

Growing fish in cages situated in farm ponds and dams is only a relatively new aquaculture production method used in Australia. Aquaculture cage production is best suited to the carnivorous territorial commercial species that grow well in recirculating aquaculture systems, predominantly Murray cod. Murray cod produced in cage culture systems are performing exceptionally well. This new production system will expand significantly in Australia and is proving to be a prosperous agricultural enterprise. As with pond and tank culture systems, inland pond-based aquaculture cage fish production systems have both advantages and disadvantages. However, if set up effectively within suitable locations, cage culture can be a highly profitable enterprise.

The culture of fish in cages has existed for decades!

fish cage culture
fish cage culture
fish cage culture

Aquaculture using cages/pens in the ocean is a significant global industry!

cage culture

Site selection is as critical for cage culture as pond culture. As cage culture basically is pond culture, the same parameters apply in regards to planning for operational effectiveness and sustainability. Cage culture necessitates the obtaining of an intensive aquaculture permit as the fish are completely dependent on artificial feeding. Cage culture has been successful for ocean pens producing seafood like salmon and tuna for decades now, and the technology, infrastructure and procedures are well known.

aquaculture cages

Advantages of Freshwater Fish Cage Culture:

  • Greater temperature stability compared to Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
  • Maintenance far more efficient in both labour and cost compared to RAS
  • Feeding, sampling and harvesting is easier compared to pond culture
  • Health monitoring is more efficient compared to pond culture
  • Greater water quality parameter stability compared to RAS
  • Greater predator control compared to pond culture
  • Less technological requirements compared to RAS
  • Retrofittable to approved existing dams/ponds
  • Waste can be easily contained and utilised
  • Perfect for experimentation and learning
  • Polyculture potential with crayfish etc
  • Excellent diversification potential

Disadvantages of Freshwater Fish Cage Culture:

  • Not effective in colder regions
  • Less environmental control compared to indoor RAS
  • Disease control may be more difficult compared to RAS
  • Potential for localised poor quality water and low dissolved oxygen
aquaculture cages