Pond culture is the farming of fish and crustaceans in ponds. There are two types of pond culture: extensive and intensive.
Extensive pond culture (organic)
Extensive pond culture is the farming of fish or crustaceans in ponds without adding additional feed. The fish live on the algae and zooplankton that are naturally present. The growth of algae and zooplankton is sometimes stimulated by adding fertilizer and organic waste to the water. Extensive aquaculture is the only farming method where a really high feed efficiency is possible. The feed efficiency indicates how much fish is farmed per kg fish fed. Extensive pond culture has hardly negative effects on the environment, provided that the species are native and the construction of the ponds didn’t destroy high value ecosystems like mangroves. Extensive pond culture has a high feed efficiency, but a low yield. There is a lot of area needed per tonne of farmed fish.
Intensive pond culture
In intensive pond culture the water is aerated and the fish or crustaceans receive additional feed. The production in the pond is therefore higher than the natural production. Aeration is mainly done by paddle wheels. The ponds are closed systems, but the wastewater is discharged in canals, rivers or the sea. The untreated discharge of wastewater has a negative impact on the environment. The construction and development of intensive production systems is sometimes paired with the destruction of high value ecosystems like mangroves. Intensive pond culture has a high yield (ten times that of extensive pond culture). This method has however a high area and energy demand.