At least 50 tons of catfish have been harvested at the maiden harvest of the commercial cage culture system of fish farming within a year, an initiative by the Lagos State Government to empower 60 youths at the Agbowa-Ikosi Beach in Ikosi Ejirin Local Council Development Area, LCDA, of the state.
The cage culture project is a new fish farming technology introduced by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to increase fish production and create more jobs through training and empowerment of youths in the state.
State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who expressed great delight at the success of the programme, encouraged the youths to be more focus as they build future for themselves in the business of fish farming.
Suarau also revealed that 3,000 fishes were to be harvested at the Agbowa-Ikosi fish farm with an average harvest of 1.2kg per day.
He said the cage culture system of fish farming is one of the ways employed by state government to maximize the benefit of the abundance of water resources which accounts for about 22 percent of the state’s landmass.
Suarau pointed out that the declining catch per unit effort of fishermen informed the policy shift of government from capture fisheries to fish farming otherwise known as Aquaculture.
“For some years, the development of Aquaculture has existed as the utilization of earthen ponds in the rural communities with close proximity to Lagoon and other water bodies”.
“Lately the use of concrete fish ponds in upland areas has gained wide acceptance and now the State has introduced the Cage Cultuer System by rearing the fish in their natural water bodies; this makes fish farming easier with less stress,” the commissioner stated.
He added that the cage cultuer system is a cheaper method of fish rearing which allow for fish to be reared in their natural habitat.
Suarau noted that the Agbowa–Ikosi site is the satrting point for the project which the government intend to replicate in all the riverine areas of the state including; Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ikorodu and Epe Local Government Areas, LGAs.
Commending the 60 participants for their success, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr. Sanni Okanlawon, implored other youths in the state to take advantage of the cage culture initiative, as the state government is ready to support and partner with anyone or group that is willing to contribute to the food security agenda of the state.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya added that the cage and pen culture would also create employment opportunities directly and indirectly.