Silver Perch

The one native fish that really started commercial freshwater aquaculture is the Silver perch. It is ideally suited to aquatic farming due to its relative hardiness, high meat ratios and thoroughly researched production techniques. Silver perch is suitable for both pond and tank based facilities with a specific commercial appropriately formulated pellet diet. Being omnivorous surface feeders, basically eating anything small that falls in or swims around, their natural diet includes insects predominantly of the aquatic type, molluscs, earthworms and aquatic vegetation (green algae). They have small mouths able to eat only small sized feed. Care must be taken when handling Silver perch to avoid their sharp dorsal spines.

A major advantage with Silver perch in aquaculture is its gregarious nature. Not being a high order predator and being a partial vegetarian, they are relatively placid animals and don’t mind living together in groups. A very high stocking density of around 20 tonne per hectare is then achievable in ponds, and up to 100 kilograms per cubic metre in proficient tank systems. As with most fish species though, higher densities generate stress from overcrowding and physical abrasion through close contact. Not being territorial is a bonus, because stress created from aggressiveness doesn’t exist. Due to their relative ease of production and time spent in the market place, the more common Silver perch receives a lower price.