Procedures of handling fingerling to reduce backyard fishpond deaths

Following simple delivery procedures after buying fingerlings may reduce death of the new stock while increasing their adaptability for maturity within the required six months.

Jared Mokaya, a Kenya Prisons Service officer in charge of fish farming at the service’s Nakuru station said stressed fingerlings can delay to mature for weeks or a month, yet is can be controlled.

A farmer must inform the fingering hatchery of plans of collecting the stock a day to doing so. This allows the hatchery to reduce the feeds given to the fingerlings.

“Starving the fish for a day before transportation to the fish pond reduces the amount of waste produced. Accumulation of waste can be toxic to the delicate stock while in the enclosed transportation bags,” the officer said.

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When fingerlings are transported, they are put in special bags with oxygen-enriched water.

At the same time, it is wrong for the famer to immediately open the bag and remove the fish with bare hands. They are supposed to move out on their own into the new environment.

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The fingerlings, together with the container must be placed on the water of the new pond for between 20 and 30 minutes. This allows for the water in the bag to assume temperatures of the surrounding. The bag is them opened carefully opened for the fish to flow into the new home, Mokaya said.

“Following the brief moment of acclimatization, the young ones start feeding immediately. Water temperature shock effects are also minimal,” he said.

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Mokaya is a  Nakuru Prison Service aquaculture expert, who also helps farmers set up integrated backyard fishponds.

PHOTO: Young dead tilapia fish floating on a wooden backyard fishpond at Moi Show Ground, Kakamega on June 17, 2016 soon after they were introduced to the demonstration location. Jared Mokaya, a Kenya Prisons officer says proper handling of fingerlings during transportation and releases into the pond can  reduce stress and resulting deaths. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.