Title: Design of cage culture system for farming in Mexico

Final project
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The increasing world demand for fish cannot be met by capture fisheries. Aquaculture production is increasing and nowadays cage culture has an important role in meeting the world’s fish demand. In Mexico, capture fisheries have not increased in recent years. Its aquaculture production is mainly inland and the cage system for marine fish culture is scarcely used. Based on the necessity to increase fishing production in Mexico, the design of a cage for culture is proposed that can be developed and built in the country. To accomplish this objective, the following tasks were carried out: a) definition of possible species and sites for farming; b) definition of design parameters, and c) proposed cage for farming. The suitability of species was analysed based on biological, marketing and environmental criteria. The site selection was based upon oceanographic and environmental aspects and logistical support for the cage farm. The design parameters for the cage were based upon experiences of cage farming, as well as on guidelines in papers. The proposal was designed through the definition of major systems: structure and floating, service, net bag, moorings and anchor systems. A floating cage with a netting bag for culturing “Black Snook” (Centropomus nigrescens) is proposed. It measures 13 m in diameter and 8 m in depth and has a capacity to harvest 17 tons of fish. Black Snook. To encourage this fishery system in Mexico, interdisciplinary work will be necessary to tackle the three main issues on cage culture: biological, engineering and socio-economic. In this project, the engineering issue is addressed as part of the necessary knowledge for the implementation of the cage system. Cage culture could have multiplier effects: provision of jobs for displaced fishermen from traditional fisheries, increased economic inputs, increment fish production and reduced pressure on traditional fisheries, supporting their sustainability.

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