Animal Husbandry

How to Start a Profitable Fish Farming Business in India?

26 Aug 2023
How to Start a Profitable Fish Farming Business in India?
Fisheries is a sunrise sector of Indian economy. It has important role in the socio-economic development of about 14.50 million fisher folks of the country. With an estimated food grain production of around 280 MMT, the fisheries sector is poised for sustained growth in the years ahead.

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Fish farming is also known as aquaculture. It has gained popularity as a profitable business in India in recent years. It is due to the growing demand for fish protein and the declining availability of wild-caught fish. This practice involves controlled fish cultivation in ponds, tanks, or other artificial water bodies.

To start a fish farming business and make it profitable needs planning, knowledge of the business and fish species. In this blog, we will discuss the important steps to embark on a successful fish farming journey in India.

How To Start Fish Farming?

The fish business requires careful planning beforehand. It requires initial investment, knowledge and training regarding the business and strategy to move ahead in fish farming step by step.

Fish farming setup costs in India can start from Rs. 50,00, and can go up depending on the scale of fish business in India. The benefits of fish farming come in the form of employment, economic support and others. Fish business or fish farming profit can vary from person to person.

Research and Planning

Before you start fish farming, it is important to do research. This means you should learn about the different kinds of fish that can be farmed in your area.

In India, some common types are Rohu, Catla, Tilapia, and Pangasius. These fish need different things to grow well, like the right kind of water, the right temperature, and the right food.

After you decide on a type of fish to farm, you should make a plan for your business. This plan should have details about

  • what you want to achieve,
  • how much money you will need,
  • how much things will cost, and
  • how you will tell people about your fish.

The plan will help you be well-prepared and successful in your fish farming business.

Location Selection

Picking the best spot for cage fish farming ponds is important for your fish farming success. The efficient location of fish farming ponds also contributes to handling year-round production, ensuring a stable income stream. So,

  • Find a place with steady water, good drainage, and transportation access. It needs sunlight, safety from pollution and bad weather.
  • Select a location that can easily cater to the rising demand.

Constructing Ponds and Water Management

Choosing the right water setup based on your space and money is important for fish farm management.

  • You can make outdoor ponds or indoor tanks. Set up the ponds or tanks according to the needs of your fish.
  • Make sure the ponds are of right depth and size and the water moves around.
  • Keeping the water good for your fish is important. Use filters and air pumps to keep the oxygen levels up and clean out waste.
  • Check how acidic the water is, plus the levels of ammonia, nitrate, and temperature. This helps stop fish diseases and keeps them happy.

Seed Selection and Feeding

Source healthy fish seeds from reputable hatcheries to ensure a strong start of pisciculture. So,

  • The seeds you stock to feed the fish must be superior.
  • Follow recommended stocking densities to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to stunted growth and disease outbreaks.
  • Develop a balanced feeding regimen based on the nutritional requirements of your chosen fish species.
  • Choose high-quality commercial feeds that contain essential nutrients.
  • Do not overfeed as it can lead to waste accumulation and water pollution, so monitor feeding closely and adjust quantities as needed.

Disease Management and Growth Monitoring

Fish are vulnerable to various diseases, which can devastate your farm if not managed effectively. Well-fed and healthy fish will grow faster and command better market prices. So,

  • Implement biosecurity measures such as quarantining new fish before introducing them to the main population.
  • Regularly inspect fish for signs of illness and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any abnormalities.
  • Consistently monitor the growth and behaviour of your fish. Regular weighing and measuring can help you track their progress and make informed decisions about feed adjustments.

Harvesting and Sales

Harvesting time varies based on the fish species and the market demand. Fish can be harvested using nets or draining the ponds/tanks.

  • Ensure proper handling and transport to minimize stress and damage to the fish.
  • Plan your harvesting schedule to match the preferences of your target market.
  • Develop a fish marketing strategy to promote your fish products. You can target local markets, restaurants, hotels, and retail stores.
  • Create an online presence over social media platforms and a site to reach a wider audience and increase fish farming profit.
  • Emphasise your fish business's quality, freshness, and sustainability to attract customers.

Finance Schemes for Fish Farming in India

Government of India has been running many schemes to promote fish farming business in India. some of them are PM Matsya Yojana, Blue Revolution Scheme, and FIDF Scheme.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) Scheme

Launched in 2020, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana scheme aims to enhance fish production, increase fishermen's income, and generate employment opportunities in the fisheries sector.

It includes components related to infrastructure development, modernizing fisheries, enhancing production through sustainable aquaculture, and promoting processing and fish marketing.

Blue Revolution Schemes

The Blue Revolution Scheme was launched in the year 2014. It aimed to increase fish production from 11.41 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2016-17 to 17.50 MMT by 2021-22.

It seeks to increase fish productivity through activities like promoting integrated fish farming in India, enhancing seed production, providing technical support, and improving infrastructure.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)

The FIDF aims to fill the large gaps in fishing infrastructure and achieve a sustainable growth of 8-9 per cent to take the fish production level to 20 million tonnes by 2022-23.

Challenges of Fish Farming Business

The fish farming business is not free from challenges, which may come in the form of disease outbreak, water quality issue, and market fluctuations, among others.

  • Disease Outbreaks: Disease management is crucial, as fish farming ponds can be susceptible to viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
  • Water Quality Maintenance: Maintaining optimal water quality in fish farming ponds is a challenge, especially during extreme weather conditions.
  • Market Fluctuations: Prices in the fish business can be volatile due to market demand, competition, and external factors.
  • Initial Investment: Setting up infrastructure, purchasing equipment, and sourcing quality fingerlings require a significant upfront investment.
  • Technical Knowledge: Successful fish farming in India demands a good understanding of aquaculture techniques, species-specific requirements, and disease management.


Starting a profitable fish farming business in India requires training, knowledge, and strategic planning. By conducting thorough research, selecting suitable fish species, ensuring proper water management, and practising disease control, you can establish a successful venture that generates income and contributes to the sustainable production of fish protein. Remember that fish farming, like any business, requires ongoing learning and adaptation to thrive in a competitive market.

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