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Cage Systems for Fish Culturing

Cage Culture: Dive Deep for a Sustainable Leap!

Cage Systems for Fish Culturing represents a mobile aquatic nursery located within a lake, river, or sea. This involves the submersion of a substantial net or enclosure in the water. Juvenile fish are introduced into this enclosure, where they reside and develop, consuming the organic nutrients available in the surrounding water. The enclosure serves as a safeguard, shielding the fish from potential threats. It facilitates the nourishment and health monitoring of the fish. Once the fish reach an appropriate size, they can be harvested from the enclosure. This method cultivates a significant quantity of fish in a natural, secure, and regulated environment, similar to operating a floating aquaculture facility.

This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 8/9

150 USD

Fish cage of 8 cubic meter


Open source / open access


  • Limited Space: Traditional fish farming methods often require large tracts of land, which can be expensive and scarce.
  • Lack of Control: In open water bodies, it’s difficult to control the environment of the fish, leading to losses from predators and disease.
  • Water Quality Issues: In other forms of aquaculture, especially in small ponds, water quality can deteriorate quickly. This can lead to problems like low oxygen levels, buildup of harmful substances like ammonia or nitrite, and excessive growth of algae.
  • Environmental Concerns: Some aquaculture methods can have a negative impact on the environment, such as pollution from waste products.
  • Unpredictable Upwelling Events: In open water bodies, upwelling events can occur, where cold, nutrient-rich water replaces the warm surface water. This can drastically change the conditions in the cage, affecting the health of the fish.


  • Efficient Space Utilization: Cage systems allow for efficient use of water bodies, reducing the need for large tracts of land. This makes it a cost-effective solution, particularly in areas where land is scarce or expensive.
  • Controlled Environment: The enclosed nature of the cages provides a controlled environment for the fish, reducing losses due to predation and disease.
  • Water Quality Management: Cage systems help manage water quality issues that are common in other forms of aquaculture. They contribute to maintaining water quality in larger water bodies.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Cage systems aim to minimize the environmental impact of aquaculture. They contribute to maintaining water quality in larger water bodies.
  • Mitigation of Upwelling Events: High-tech solutions have emerged to address the issue of predicting and mitigating upwelling events.

Key points to design your business plan

Cage systems offer a distinct set of advantages for fish farming. Here's a breakdown to help you decide if integrating cages into your business is the right move:


  • Market Potential: Cage systems cater to a growing demand for open-water fish farming. By manufacturing high-quality cages, you can tap into this market.
  • Considerations:
    • Source durable and corrosion-resistant materials suitable for marine environments.
    • Design cages with features like predator exclusion nets and efficient water flow.
    • Offer variations in size and functionality to cater to different fish species and farm scales.
  • Target Customers:
    • Fish farms (both small-scale and large-scale)
    • Government agencies and NGOs involved in aquaculture development projects


  • Market Advantage: There's a constant need for reliable cage system suppliers.
  • Success Factors:
    • Source cages from reputable manufacturers with a proven track record.
    • Ensure efficient and secure transportation methods suited for bulky cage structures.
    • Maintain adequate storage facilities to protect cages from damage.
    • Offer a range of cage sizes and functionalities to cater to diverse customer needs.
  • Pricing Strategy:
    • Consider factors like material, size, and additional features when pricing cages.
    • Factor in transportation costs, import duties, and taxes for accurate pricing.

Fish Growers:

  • Benefits of Cage Systems:
    • Offer greater water volume compared to tanks, suitable for larger fish species.
    • Allow for natural water flow, potentially improving fish health.
  • Cage Selection:
    • Choose cages made from durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
    • Consider factors like cage size, mesh size, and anchoring system based on your specific fish species and farming location.
    • Partner with reliable cage system manufacturers and suppliers.
  • Cost Considerations:
    • While the initial investment in cages might be higher than tanks, their durability can lead to long-term cost savings.
    • Cage systems can potentially reduce operational costs in areas like disease control due to better water circulation.


  • Success in aquaculture relies heavily on proper management practices.
  • Invest in training your staff on cage system maintenance, water quality management, and disease prevention specific to open-water fish farming.
  • Offering after-sales services like installation support and maintenance guidance can foster strong customer relationships.

Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive medium
Positive medium

Positive or neutral impact

Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot

Cage Systems for Fish Culturing






Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Togo, Tanzania, Sudan,
South Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Rwanda,
Mozambique, Mali, Malawi, Madagascar, Liberia, Kenya,
Guinea, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon,
Burkina Faso, Botswana, Benin. 

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Angola Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Botswana Tested Adopted
Burkina Faso Tested Adopted
Cameroon Tested Adopted
Central African Republic Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Adopted
Djibouti Tested Adopted
Equatorial Guinea Tested Adopted
Eritrea Tested Adopted
Ethiopia Tested Adopted
Guinea Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Liberia Tested Adopted
Madagascar Tested Adopted
Malawi Tested Adopted
Mali Tested Adopted
Mozambique Tested Adopted
Rwanda Tested Adopted
Senegal Tested Adopted
Sierra Leone Tested Adopted
Somalia Tested Adopted
South Sudan Tested Adopted
Sudan Tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Togo Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 1: no poverty
Goal 1: no poverty
Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger

Cage Systems for Fish Culturing work by confining fish within a mesh enclosure that is either fixed or floating in a body of water. Here's a step-by-step description of how it works:

  • Cage Construction: The cage, which can be made of various materials such as synthetic netting or metal, is constructed and anchored in a suitable water body. The cage is designed to be sturdy and resistant to the conditions of the water body.
  • Stocking the Cage: Juvenile fish, also known as fingerlings, are introduced into the cage. The species of fish chosen depends on several factors including their growth rate, reproductive behavior, nutritional requirements, market value, and ability to survive in the confined environment.
  • Feeding and Growth: The fish are fed according to a specific feeding regime, which can include natural foods and detritus, benthos, and artificial feeds. The mesh of the cage allows water to flow freely, maintaining good water quality and removing wastes.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: Regular monitoring of the fish and the cage system is carried out to ensure the health of the fish and the integrity of the cage. This includes checking for signs of disease, assessing the condition of the cage, and monitoring the water quality.
  • Harvesting: Once the fish reach a marketable size, they are harvested from the cage. The mesh design of the cage makes it easier to harvest the fish.

This method of fish farming allows for efficient use of water resources, better control over the cultured organisms, and reduced environmental impact.

Last updated on 22 May 2024