Homa Bay County Director of Fisheries George Okoth has urged fish farmers to acquire fingerlings from hatcheries as they are more suitable for farming.
The director said that hatchery fry are well selected based on sex and male fry are most preferred for rearing.
“It is difficult to distinguish between male and female fish and it can only be done in hatcheries and nowhere else,” Okoth said.
He added that it is recommended to keep male fish to avoid overcrowding in ponds due to breeding, as males are expected to mature for consumption. The director further informed that there is a chance of breeding when the fish from the hatcheries and the lake are mixed.
“When hatchery and lake fish are placed together, there is a high chance that they will breed,” the manager said, adding, “When the fish breed, they outgrow the pond, resulting in a stagnant growth due to insufficient food and nutrients”.
He urged farmers to visit the nearest hatcheries in the area for the supply of fingerlings to their farms.
“We have hatcheries in Homa Bay, so those in need of fingerlings should order from either Muga Farm in Kendu Bay or Julet Farm in Rakwaro,” he said.
The director said fish farming is easy as long as there is water, adding that with new technology, water drainage in ponds which affects fish farming can be avoided through the use of tanks or raised supports and liners that may be spilled.
Okoth said residents should incorporate fish into their diets more often and cited the many human health benefits of fish.
“Fish is rich in protein and minerals such as phosphate and calcium which help support muscle and brain growth, while omega 3s reduce the risk of heart disease.”
He specifies that the fish classified in the category of white meats, the fish have no cholesterol.
“Cholesterol affects blood flow to different organs. Fish has almost no cholesterol and is therefore the most recommended for consumption,” he said.
Okoth urged fish farmers to contact the Department of Fisheries for any consultation regarding fish farming.