The culture of African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) in Africa, with particular reference to controlled hatchery production
A rationale is presented for a primary nursing strategy and an on-growing strategy for Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) culture in Africa, thus providing a potential model for the development of culture technology for the species. Existing information pertaining to the production strategies identified is reviewed, highlighting the attributes of African catfish for aquaculture. Some of the current deficiencies and inconsistencies in available information pertaining to controlled hatchery production are addressed. The early developmental stages of Clarias gariepinus are defined, in order to promote consistent use of terminology and help farmers better address the changing needs of their developing stock. The pattern of growth and survival of larvae and fry is investigated at higher stocking densities than those used experimentally to provide a database for planning full-scale commercial operations. Tank design and water flow rates appropriate for Clarias gariepinus in hatcheries are investigated and recommendations made. Finally, in order to promote maximal growth rates of hatchery stocks the maximum daily feed intake of larvae in relation to different feeding regimes is estimated based on rates of gastric evacuation and return of appetite. An overview of the controlled hatchery production of Clarias gariepinus is presented.