Book Reviews

Better Freshwater Fish Farming: Raising Fish in Pens and Cages #38 Better Farming Series by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, written and illustrated by Tom Laughlin. 1990, 83 p.

For the fish farmer, raising fish in cages adds flexibility and security. A farmer with one small pond can raise fingerlings in a cage, while waiting to harvest mature fish. This gives a head start on the next crop of fish which can increase the potential yield.

This FAO manual covers building and stocking pens and cages, feeding, maintaining, and harvesting fish and raising fingerlings. The text is broken into numbered paragraphs. It is fairly simple and frequently repetitive. It assumes the reader has some knowledge of aquaculture, perhaps from the earlier aquaculture manuals in FAO's Better Farming Series of 38 booklets.

The text may not always walk entirely successfully the fine line between simple and clear on the one hand, and redundant on the other. While the author uses line drawings to illustrate the techniques, the manual uses a lot of text, which may reduce its usefulness for some farmers.

This FAO manual is designed for use in agricultural development at the farm and household level. The intent is to create a basic model that can be modified or expanded according to local conditions.

To order:

Distribution and Sales Section FAO, Via Delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome, Italy

FAO Economic and Social Development Series No. 3/38, 1990, 83 p., ISBN 92-5-102743-9, $5.00


UNIPUB 4611 F. Assembly Drive Lanham, MD 20706-4391 USA

Raising Fish in Ponds: A Farmer's Guide to Tilapia Culture by Dennis and Meredith Murnyak, illustrated by Barbara Knutson, Heifer Project International and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. 1990, 75 p.

A fish pond can provide a family with a nutritious food source as well as a potential income source. This manual is an excellent guide to raising fish, starting from the very beginning. It covers all aspects of fish culture from designing and building a pond, stocking, managing, fish harvesting, potential problems, expansion, and fish culture as an integral part of the farming system. It also covers related health concerns such as malaria and schystosomiasis.

Raising Fish in Ponds is advertised as a manual for farmers and extensionists. The presentation is simple and direct, with numerous line drawings to illustrate the steps of the process. It includes a great deal of technical information, however, and would probably be most appropriate for an extensionist or used with the support of an extensionist.

The authors of this book are aquaculture specialists who work extensively with farmers in Tanzania, through the Fish Farming Project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Dennis and Meredith Murnyak also have worked in Africa, Latin America and the U.S.

To order:

Heifer Project Inter'l
P.O. Box 808
1015 South Louisiana
Little Rock, AR 72203
Fax: 501-376-8906
Price: US $5.25 postage paid

For Swahili version:

Mradi wa Ufugaji wa Samaki
KKKT Dayosisi Mkoani Arusha
S.L.P. 519
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Price: T.Shs. 400.

Duckweed Aquaculture: A New Aquatic Farming System for Developing Countries by W. K. Journey, P. Skillicorn and W. Spira, Agriculture Division, The World Bank, 68 p.

Duckweed is an aquatic plant belonging to the Lemnaceae family. Because of its phenomenal growth rate, high protein content, ability to clean waste water and to thrive in both fresh and brackish water, it has great potential for integration into aquatic systems.

Duckweed Agriculture is designed to present relevant information on duckweed culture, increase awareness of the potential of the plant, disseminate currently available technical and agronomic information and to identify areas for further research. It also includes two annexes with investment scenarios. It is written for established fish farmers, extensionists and researchers involved with aquaculture, and wastewater specialists.

This book, published by the World Bank, is the result of a pilot project conducted in Bangladesh to develop farming systems for duckweed and to test its value as a fish feed.

The results of that and an earlier study were very promising and suggest that the plant could be important as a source of fish and poultry feed, and as a tool for wastewater treatment processing in selected areas. The book draws primarily from these two studies, and not from traditional uses of duckweed.

To order:

EMENA Technical Dept.
Agriculture Division, The World Bank
1818 H St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005 USA
Fax: (202) 477-0712