1.1 Background of Study
The African catﬁsh generally has been an economically important fish species that contributes signiﬁcantly to annual ﬁsh productions in many countries of the world, most especially in Africa and many parts of Asia (Lawanson et al., 2013). Over the decades, aquaculture, which describes artificial cultivation of fish species most especially the larval rearing faces many challenges, notably poor breeding methods, diseases outbreak, brood stock domestication, and improvement, development of appropriate feeds and feeding mechanism, hatchery and grow-out technology, as well as water-quality management. The high demand for fish fingerlings in the phenomenal growing aquaculture industry has necessitated the need for artificial propagation of cultural fresh water fish in Nigeria. Specifically, the insufficient availability of one of Africa catfish Clarias – gariepinus seeds poses a great threat to its cultivation and hence the need for the detailed knowledge and understanding of its breeding, fertilization, hatching and larval rearing for its artificial propagation (Abol-Munafi et al., 2006).
These all present a considerable scope for biotechnological applications, and other technology intervention in the aquaculture industry. This has to do with the scientific application of biological concept such as in vitro fertilization that will enhance productivity, and economic viability in the overall breeding process for production of fish stock (Clark et al.,2009).
However, aquaculture development is needed for sustainable food ﬁsh production in order to supplement wild ﬁsheries. This situation is necessary to bridge the existing productivity gap between ﬁsh supply and demand in Nigeria and many parts of African countries. In view of this, a sustainable production of quality ﬁsh seed and the feed rearing of the larvae will provide a signiﬁcant solution to the challenges faced by farmers.
Thus, this project work to breed and rear African catfish Heterobranchus longifilis larvae with formulated feeds in an indoor hatchery
1.2 Aims and Objectives
The main aim and objectives of this project include to:
Carry out in vitro fertilization of Heterobranchus Longifilis for a successful breeding and rearing of larval fish for fingerlings production.
Compare formulated feeds with imported live feeds ( Artemia) used in feeding trials to show its applicability in larval production of Africa catfish Heterobranchus Longifilis.
Determine the growth rate and survival rate of heterobranchus longifilis.
Report the findings of these experiments to the fish farmers.
The scope of this project work is limited to in vitro fertilization, hatching and rearing of larvae for fingerlings production.
The African catﬁsh is a favourite cultured ﬁsh in many parts of Africa and Asia because of its hardiness and fast growth rate.
Aquaculture is fully recognized as a major contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) in many countries, fisheries and aquaculture production is an important contributor to many national economies across Asia and the Pacific region. FAO recommends greater emphasis on legislation and policy that support the poor and advocates: (i) financing aquaculture production for enhanced poverty alleviation programmes; (ii) making market work for the poor; (iii) better management that includes managing small-scale aquaculture; and (iv) Appropriate information, research and communication to strengthen foreign exchange for countries (FAO 2014). Furthermore, aquaculture contributes significantly to employment or job creation, and income generation.
Nutritionally, fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides range of health benefits. It provides nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to cognitive and physical development, especially in children, and are important part of healthy diet. Fish is a low-fat high quality protein which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich calcium and phosphorus and is a major source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. Economically, fish contributes to the Gross domestic products GDP through export trade.
Biotechnological innovations which include in vitro reproduction methods have shown a lot of positive impacts in improving aquaculture production most especially in breeding and in the larval production of catfish towards producing a desired healthy and fast growing industry.
Having seen the enormous importance of fish to man, its nutritional value, and its contribution to GDP, the application of biotechnological innovations which include in vitro reproduction, larval rearing methods etc. attested to have a lot of positive impacts in improving aquaculture production the world over is much welcome development and justifiable.