Aquaculture systems are diverse and varied due to the large number of cultured species exhibiting different ecological, feeding and breeding habits. Depending on resources availability and planned level of production, the producer will make a choice between extensive, semi-intensive, intensive or super intensive systems. Farmers are employing various approaches under the four main aquaculture systems for farmed fish production. Under super intensive and intensive systems, farmers are currently engaged in RAS, aerated ponds, cages, raceways and static flash ponds. Semi-intensive and extensive systems employ use of cages, pens, static earthen, concrete and liner ponds as well as above ground wooden units.
Mariculture at the Kenyan Coast requires; Floating cages, net enclosures, earthen ponds and a constant water circulation systems depending on the stocking densities.
Coastal areas of high consideration for the various culture systems are ; Lamu, Gongoni, Shimoni, Mida, Kilifi, Mtwapa and Mombasa lagoons in addition to Sabaki and Tana estuaries. However, despite the numerous potential of mariculture grounds at the Kenyan Coast, it has experienced very slow development. This is despite the production potential that exists against the prevailing challenges on open waters access by poor fishermen’s fishing gear and low wild catches and aspect contributed by many factors including dwindling world wild stocks.
NARDTC is currently working closely with KMFRI Mombasa mariculture team and Ngomeni Fisheries Department team on possible ways of jumpstarting mariculture at the Kenyan Coast. This can be achieved through proven on station and on farm research by Fisheries Department- Ngomeni and KMFRI-Mombasa.