Fish Farms

How will the intervention help?

  • Inadequate food, particularly lack of protein rich food is a problem. Inadequate food or inadequate variety of foods can lead to malnutrition of various types.
  • Jobs, and therefore money to purchase food, is scarce. Many people must grow their own food.
  • Fish farming is a low cost method to increase the amount of food and protein-rich food in a family's diet.
  • When local farmers feel comfortable producing enough fish for their family's needs, they can sell the excess for cash. If really successful, it may be possible for a successful fish farmer to hire people to work the fish farm and sell fish outside the immediate area.

What is involved with the project?

  • A year-round water supply must be available and be able to be piped/brought to the fish farm location.
  • A hole of almost any size is dug into soil that can hold water and the hole is filled with water.
  • Fish fry are placed in the water. The preferred fish that can live in dirty, low oxygen content water is tilapia.
  • Although the fish may grow better on commercial fish foods, it is possible to grow fish using locally grown materials such as mangos and limited corn.
  • Fish are usually harvested by draining the water from the hole, or a net can be used.

Required Materials

  • Year round water source of sufficient volume to keep hole filled
  • Pipe to transport the water from the source to the fish hole.
  • A strong back to dig the hole.
  • Fish fry. These can often be gotten from a neighbor for minimal cost. For most local farmers, the problem is having too many fish. Having too many fish leads to all the fish being stunted in size.

Total monetary cost

The most costly up-front expense is the pipe needed to carry the water to the fish farm. The price varies based on distance, diameter of pipe required and the type of pipe (galvanized vs PVC). For small home-use fish farms, the project can be started for between $100 - $200.

Building a small fish farm
Volunteer Mateo Malek assists workers build a small home-use fish farm.
Honduran woman stands in front of the large family fish farm holding a small Tilapia
Maria N. stands in front of the large family fish farm holding a small Tilapia.   This large fish farm provides enough fish for family consumption and extra for sale.
Family fishfarm with inset of produce
Volunteer Kirsten Nagel inspects a family fish farm.  The inset photo shows some of the harvest of mature Tilapia.