BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The demand for fish as an appreciable source of protein in
the global nutrition is high but the supply of the product remained
insufficient. This is because fishing in the world seas and oceans appears to
reach a maximum productive level, whereas statistical analysis revealed a
significant increase of human fish consumption yearly (Jamiu, et al., 2000).
The target of Aquaculture industries is to produce a table size fish within a
short period of time which can be achieved through choice of culture species,
careful selection of brood-stock, availability of feed, stocking density, good
water supply and good management system at the culture level.
Catfish production is a welcome practice in the history of
Aquaculture. African catfishes mostly Clarias gariepinus and Heterobranchus
longifilis species remained the most culturable species due to their good
taste, fast growth rate, high stocking density and ability to adapt and survive
adverse condition. (Hogendoorn, Fang, et al., 1986, Ayinla, et al., 1988; FAO,
2003; Jamiu, et al., 2004). Unfortunately, the successful story of aquaculture
in Nigeria is being punctuated by high cost of imported fish feed such as
Coppens. Udo et al., (2011) observed high cost of fish as a major problem to
global aquaculture development, this account for 60% of total cost of
production (Gabriel, et at., 2007).
It has been observed that Heteorbranchus longifilis unlike
Clarias species, requires longer period to attain sexual maturity which is
1year and above for male and 11/2 year for female brood-stock. Considering
economic situation of most farmers, ability and the willingness to culture the
species for longer period to attain sexual maturity using commercial feeds like
Coppens remained difficult. This initiated the idea of hybridization of the two
species in order to achieve the product of highest disease resistant with fast
growth and higher survival of the species but the growth comparism and survival
of African catfishes and their hybrid using plastic container had not been
reported which is the focus of this study.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Culture of African catfish practice among fish farmers but
unlike Clarias species, Heterobranchus production remained difficult mostly at
the early stage of productions leading to insufficient supply of fingerlings
for Farm stock. The idea of hybridization for production of species of higher
disease resistant and fast growth and survival becomes a recent practice among
fish breeders, Hybridare stelied which cannot be used for the generation of the
species. Therefore, among pure line Heterobranchus, Clarias species and their corresponding
hybrid the need to identify specie with the best growth performances and
survival remained crucial.
Due to insufficient supply of fingerling of choice, farmers
embraced any available seed of catfish without detecting the growth performance
and survival within a specific period of time using the same feed product.
Considering high cost fish feed, farmers who experienced poor growth of fish
are discouraged. This is because there is no established fact guiding the
production of commercial and production species of catfish.
AIMS/OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study include:
To detect the best growth performance among African Catfish
and their corresponding hybrid.
To detect the species with the highest survival culture
under the same condition.
To enlighten fish farmer on the best species to be cultured
for commercial and for production purposes.