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“A cage represents a delineated volume in the body of water where the
aquatic organisms can be farmed.”
“A cage is enclosed on all sides with mesh netting made from synthetic
material that can resist decomposition in water for a long period of time”
• Originated almost 200 yrs ago in Cambodia
• Cages are generally small, ranging in freshwater reservoirs from 1 m
500 m

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Cage can be used for:
a. Grow out cultures
b. Larval rearing systems
c. Brood stock development
d. Fattening systems
e. Holdings for live catches
f. Aqua ranching

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• Originated in Cambodia- catfishes; modern-
Japan, yellow tail
• Sea cages farming : Norway, Chile, Japan
• India – 2007 along Vishakapattanam with Asian
seabass (CMFRI)
• Followed by grey mullet, pearl spot, shrimps,
crabs, lobsters, cobia and pampano

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Non rotating
Beveridge (1996)
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Fixed cages: attached to pilings driven in the substratum
depth: 1-3m

Floating cages: floats allow cages to rise and fall with
fluctuating water currents
depth: 2-5 m

Submersible cages: cage can be lowered when cyclone
or typhoon threatens

Submerged cages: cages are fixed at 2-5 m beneath, the
fish are fed via feeding tube. During storm, the tube is
tied shut and cage is submerged to a depth of 15m
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• Another classification of sea cages divides
them into two categories depending on the
nature of the bag that makes up the cage:
1. it may be an open bag of net, or
2. a closed bag of plastic.
• A closed bag will normally require water to
be pumped into it, and there is an outlet pipe
from the bag.
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• Open offshore cages can be classified as follows:
1. Class 1 Gravity cages that rely on buoyancy and weight to hold
their shape and volume against environmental forces .
2. Class 2 Anchor tension cages that rely on the anchor tension to
keep their shape and volume
3. Class 3 Self-supporting cages that rely on a combination of
compression in rigid elements and tension in flexible elements to
keep the net in position so the shape and volume are maintained
4. Class 4 Rigid self-supporting cages that rely on rigid constructions
such as beams and joints to keep their shape and volume.
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• A traditional open cage comprises the following main parts:
1. Net bag with weights in the bottom to spread the bag
2. A jumping net above the surface fixed to the net bag to prevent fish
3. Cage collar for spreading out the net bag and give buoyancy to keep the
bag in the correct position in the water column
4. Mooring system.
5. weights to stretch out the net bag at the bottom and to stabilize it in the
water column.

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Major components in a traditional open sea cage farm.
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• Three different methods may be used to construct the framework/collar
for a sea cage:
1. Stiff framework: The framework does not follow the wave movements.
2. Framework with movable joints: The framework will to some extent
follow the wave movements.
3. Flexible framework: The framework is quite flexible and will follow the
wave movements well. These include frames made of plastic (for
example, polyethylene, PE) which are flexible to some degree and those
made of rubber (for example, ocean cages).
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Different methods of construction for
frameworks of traditional surface sea cages.
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Functions of collar
• The collar or framework may have several functions:-
It helps to support the cage safely in the water column,
It helps to maintain the shape of the net bag,
It may help with buoyancy and
It may serve as a work platform.
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Weighting and stretching
• Weights on the bottom of the net bag are
used to keep the net bag down, and to
maintain as much effective volume as possible
for the fish.
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Net bags
• Net bags can be constructed in different ways and with different materials.
• In the past materials such as cotton and flax were used. These materials
get heavy in water and their strength is rapidly reduced.
• Today synthetic plastic materials, such as polyamide (PA; nylon)
predominate. This material is cheap, strong and not too stiff to work with.
• PE can also be used.
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• Nylon used for nets is made as a multifilament consisting of several
thin threads spun together to make a thicker one.
• The advantage with multifilament is that the thread is easy to
bend, easy to work with, tolerates more loads and is more resistant
to chafing.
• Nets are either knotted or knotless.
• The normal mesh shape is square; hexagonal meshes are also used,
but to a lesser extent.
• Hexagonal meshes are more commonly used for trawling bags on
fishing vessels.
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Mooring System
• The function of the mooring system is to keep the farm in a
fixed position and to avoid transfer of excessive forces to
the cages, especially vertical forces.
• Different methods are used for mooring depending on the
type of cage, how exposed the sites are to the weather, and
the requirement for position exactness.
• Two major systems are used for mooring: pre-stressed and
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Slack mooring is used to moor ships
which drift around one anchorage
point. Such mooring systems are well
adapted for stiff constructions such as

Pre-stressed systems are well adapted
for use in flexible constructions, and in
correctly designed systems the forces
will be equally spread over the entire

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• A pre-stressed mooring system contains three
major parts:
(1) Mooring lines which include the point of
attachment to the cages
(2) Buoys
(3) Anchors.
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Description of the single components
in pre-stressed mooring system
Fixing point:
• The mooring line is fixed to the collar by a shackle.
• To secure the fixing point against breakage, a secondary fixing may be used
Mooring lines:
• Different materials are used for mooring line or rope such as PA (nylon), PE, PES
and PP.
• PA tolerates the highest forces with a given diameter, while PP ropes have the
lowest weight.
• Metal may also be integrated into the rope to increase its strength, but this also
increases the cost.
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Double fixing is recommended where the
mooring lines are connected to the collar.
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• Buoys are used to hold the mooring lines up so
that vertical forces on the collar are avoided.
• Typical buoy sizes are from 200 to 700 l.
• The buoys can be filled with air or foam.
• To avoid puncturing reducing the buoyancy, the
use of foam filled buoys is highly recommended.
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Buoys are used to reduce the vertical forces on the
collar, and bird nets are used to avoid birds taking small fish.
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• The simplest type of anchor is the dead weight or block anchor.
• Concrete blocks are most commonly used as weight anchors and
vary from some hundreds of kilograms to several tonnes.
• A drag anchor or ebbing anchor is another type much used.

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Different anchors are used for mooring
sea cages: block (A), drag (B), pile (C), bolt (D).
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The photograph shows drag anchors.
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Design of the mooring system
• The design used for the mooring system depends on the type of
cages to be moored. These may be as follows:-
 System for mooring several single cages
 Single cages with walkway
 Single cages with walkway and landing
 Group of cages – platform cages
 Ocean cages
 Cages lying on sway.
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• A single cage may be moored by between four and six
single buoys attached to anchors and to the cage by
mooring lines.
• It is recommended that the single mooring line be
divided into two before the fixing point to the cage,
this is known as the hen foot mooring; it reduces the
forces at the points of attachment to the cage
framework, because the number of fixing points is
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Cage body
Feeding platform
Bottom frame
Upper frame
Feeding tube
Cage cover
Wire for fixing feeding tube

The structure of small volume (size) cage
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The main components and materials of small volume (size) cage
Cage body
(net and rope made of nylon)
Upper frame (bamboo)
Wire for fixing feed pipe
Feeding tube
(made of
plastics or
bamboo )
Feeding platform (made of nylon gauze )
Cage cover (made of opaque cloth)
Bottom frame (made of reinforcing bar)
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The constructional order of small volume (size) cage
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Cage culture experiments in india
Air breathing fishes: Anabas & Singhi –bamboo split
wooden cages
Clarius sp& Channa sp –CIFRI @ Bihar and Karnataka
Catla: CIFA @ Bangalore
Freshwatre prawns: M.rosenebergii, M. malcolmsonii &
Mahaseer: Bhimtal

C.I.F.E cage experiments

Walvan reservoir (MH) -Tor putitora, Tor khudree

Powai lake (MH) - Labeo rohita, Cyprinus carpio, Catla

Halali reservoir (M.P) - Catla catla, Labeo rohita

Gobindasagar reservoir (HP) - Catla catla, Labeo rohita,
Cyprinus carpio
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Make use of the existing water bodies
Farm management is less complex
Can be expanded by adding new cages
Cages can be moved to better sites
High density of fish culture

No control over water quality
No control over weather
Damage to skin leading to infection
Navigation hazards
Uneaten food settle and pollute water
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What is Zero water culture?
• In a zero water exchange system, no water is
discharged from the system and no additional
water, except for evaporation, is added after
the system is initially filled.
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A key element of this system is efficient recycling of
nutrients through the pond with the use of heavy
Thus with this technology bio security is high.
Bacteria are the foundation of zero-water exchange
shrimp culture process.
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• Ecological recalculating aquaculture system.
• Keep ecological balance.
• Away from chemical way.
• Preventing sudden and unnecessary
• Economical energy cost.
• Increase in stocking density.
• Higher survival.
Characteristics of zero water exchange
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There are three main components of the zero water
Aqueous medium
The microbial populations
Shrimp population
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Aqueous medium
• The building block of the aqueous growth medium is specific
pathogen free water
• There must be a limited amount of sulphur present in the
aqueous medium of the present invention to sustain a minimal,
amount of anaerobic digestion in the zero- exchange system and
create an environment suitable for shrimp growth
• The sulphur concentration is maintained at levels in the range of
10 to 100 ppt.
• The sulphur content of the aqueous medium may also be
modified and adjusted by adapting the feed supply, altering
aeration, or both.
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Microbial population
• The aqueous medium of the system also contains sufficient quantity of beneficial algae and
bacteria which support and provide a synergistic relationship with the shrimp and nutrition
• Shrimp growth and survival rates, as well as the stability and quality of the zero-exchange
environment are dependent upon the presence of these beneficial microorganisms in the
aqueous medium.
• The microbial population itself comprises a mix of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic algae
and heterotrophic and chemotrophic bacteria
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• These helps to recycle uneaten feed, residual solids, and metabolites and enhance
animal growth rates.
• Algae such as Navicula spp., Nitzchia spp., Thalasiosira spp., Chaetoceros spp., and
Amphiprora spp. in the microbial population are particularly associated with rapid
shrimp growth.
• With respect to the bacteria, nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrosomas and
Nitrobacter contribute to the control of the ammonia levels and other potentially
harmful nitrogenous compounds
• Further bacteria such as Vibrio pelagius and Lactobacillus spp. are associated with
supporting rapid growth and high survival rates of shrimp.
• Specific bacteria that should be excluded because of potential pathogenic activity
are Vibrio anguillarum, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus,
Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio damsela, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio splendidus.

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Shrimp population
• In case of the zerowater culture we normally use SPF or SPR shrimp seed
• The shrimp introduced into the system are either post larvae (about 1/10
of a gram in weight) or juveniles (about 1-5 grams in weight).
• The stocking density in actual trials has ranged from 50 to 300 animals
per m2.
• On a per weight basis, the shrimp are typically harvested at about 3 to
6 kg/m2 after roughly 8-12 weeks.

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• The zerowater system is a system in which
there is no water exchange to the
• Infact it is the system which is environment
friendly and do not pollute the nearby water
• In this system the growth of the shrimp is
faster and yield is very high
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• Hand book of fisheries and aqua culture by SS Ayyapan
• Cage aquaculture by Malcolm Beveridge.
• Rao G. S., et al., 2008. Innovation in sea cage farming and
development of sustainable capture based aquacutlutre. CMFRI
Annual report 2009-10.
• Halwart. M et al.,2007. Cage culture. FAO Technical paper 498
• Chen, J., Xu H. and Chen, Z., 2006. Marine Fish Cage culture in

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• A.K. Das, K.K. Vass, N.P. Shrivastava, P.K. Katiha. 2009. Cage Culture in Reservoirs in
India. (A Handbook) WorldFish Center Technical Manual No. 1948.,.
[Publisher: The Director CIFRI ,Barrackpore, Kolkata ,West Bengal
• Pohan Panjaitan.2010. Shrimp culture of penaeus monodon with zero water
Exchange model (zwem) using molasses. Journal of Coastal Development. Volume
14, Number 1, October 2010 : 35 – 44.
• Avnimelech, Y., M. Kochva, and S. Diab, 1994. Development of controlled intensive
aquaculture systems with a limited water exchange and adjusted carbon to
nitrogen ratio. The Israel J. Aquaculture-Badmidgeh 46, 119 – 131
• Rosenberry, B. 2001. New shrimp farming technology:Zero-exchange,
environmentally friendly, superintensiveIn: World shrimp farming 2001. Published
annually shrimps news International 14, 5-10.

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