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The global aquaculture cage market is expected to be driven by growing global population and the corresponding rise in demand and consumption of fish, depleting fish stocks and poor farm economy that have led to increased focus on production of fish in cages. Fish consumption is further expected to increase significantly in developing as well as developed countries due to rapid growth in population, growing affluence and urbanization in emerging nations, contributing to market growth. North America, Europe and Asia are expected to be key markets.
Cage aquaculture entails raising fish in existing water resources with the help of a net cage enclosure allowing free water flow. This aquaculture production system comprises a floating frame, net materials, and mooring system (with rope, buoy, anchor, etc.) with a circular or square shaped floating net to hold and culture a large number of fish; the system may be installed in reservoirs, rivers, lakes or the sea. Catwalk and handrail are structured around a series of floating cages. Various types of material is used to make cage frames. Commonly employed materials include High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), Galvanised Iron (GI) pipes, PVC pipes, etc. While HDPE frames are expensive, these last long. Relatively cheap epoxy coated Galvanized Iron (GI) frames are suited for small groups and fishermen. GI frames have shorter life spans as compared to HDPE frames.
There are four types of aquaculture cages – fixed, floating, submerged, and submersible. As a farming practice, cage culture is low impact, offers higher returns, and low carbon emitting activity.
In India, circular cages with diameters varying from 2 m to 15 m, designed for the culture of fish (like milkfish, mullet, cobia, pompano, sea bass, pearl spot, shellfish such as shrimps, crabs and lobsters) have been successfully exhibited. In developing nations like India, cage culture system can contribute significantly towards increased fish production. Further, cage culture can lead to better utilization of underutilized water bodies. Indeed, need and search for apposite sites have led the cage aquaculture subsector to access and expand into novel, untapped open-water culture domains, like lakes, reservoirs, rivers and coastal brackish and marine offshore waters. For example, Oceanis 2 Submersible Cage was installed in the coast of Aland, Finland, in 2020 to have a completely submersible solution to stock fish below the ice and the surface of water. With respect to Finnish aquaculture, the project sought to open up different locations offshore. These factors are expected to contribute to market growth.
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