Channel catfish farming handbook

Channel catfish farming handbook

Fisheries Research, 15 (1993) 387-391 387 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam Book Reviews CATFISH FARMING Channel Catfish Farming Handboo...

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Fisheries Research, 15 (1993) 387-391


Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam


Channel Catfish Farming Handbook. Craig S. Tucker and Edwin H. Robinson, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1991, ISBN 0-442-31836-7. Craig Tucker and Ed Robinson have done an excellent job in bringing together the information available on catfish culture into a single volume. Channel Catfish Farming Handbook is an easy to read book that covers a broad range of topics that catfish farmers a/ad prospective catfish farmers will find extremely useful. The first part of the book provides information on the biology of channel catfish, while the second part provides the details necessary for culturing catfish under a variety of conditions. The book is provided with a glossary of technical terms, appendices providing information on metric conversions, temperature conversions, lengthweight relationships, scientific names of key species and addresses of catfish disease diagnostic laboratories. The index is comprehensive and I found the key topics to be well represented. There is an abundance of figures, tables, graphs and diagrams that summarize the data and make it more accessible and useful to the reader. The first part of the book consists of five chapters entitled: Biology; Life history and reproductive biology; Genetics; Environmental requirements; Nutrition. These chapters provide considerable background information on the biological characteristics of catfish, basic information on genetics and nutrition, and important environmental considerations when culturing catfish in ponds or raceways. I found the bibliographic references at the conclusion of these chapters to contain excellent reference works should the reader care for more detail on particular subjects. However, the level of detail in these chapters was sufficient to meet the needs of most practicing catfish farmers. The second part of the book provides, as the authors say, the 'how-to' of catfish farming. There are eight chapters entitled: Breeding; Egg and fry production; Fingerling and food-fish production in ponds; Water quality management in ponds; Feeds and feeding practices; Infectious diseases; Harvesting and transporting; Alternative culture systems. I found these chapters to have the type of information that would be useful on a daily basis for practicing catfish farmers. The chapters had a logical progression of information, often using graphs and tables, that should help lead the reader to the desired information. For example, the water quality chapter contains a table for expected solubility of oxygen in water at different temperatures, graphs of ex-


pected oxygen levels that could be found under algal bloom conditions, calm or stormy days and under conditions of cloudy weather. A discussion of the relationship between feed levels and aeration requirements led to a discussion on aerator types and aeration philosophies and management regimes. The infectious disease chapter had subtitles for each major disease which were labeled: clinical signs; characteristics of the disease; transmission, diagnosis and control. This format gives uniformity and adequately covers the main considerations when a farmer is up against a disease problem. The other chapters in the second section provided similar details and gave an excellent cross-section of technology currently in use. I liked the use of simple feed equations whereby the farmer could determine the amount of feed to use by using two or three variables. The final chapter which explored alternative culture systems was most appropriate at a time when the industry is trying to cope with increased pressures for reduced environmental impact of their farming activities and the intensification of production systems to conserve on land and water resources. In summary, the authors did a commendablejob bringing together a broad spectrum of data into a very useable book. The information provided adequately reflects the state-of-the-art presently in use in the US catfish industry. J.P. McVEY

US Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Oceanic Research Programs 1335 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA


Catch Effort Sampling Strategies m Their Application in Freshwater Fisheries Management. I.G. Cowx (Editor), Fishing News Books, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 1991, ix + 420 pp., hard cover, £49.50, ISBN 0-85238-177-8. This book is a report of a symposium organised in 1990 by the European Inland Fisheries Commission to "advance the scientific and management basis of catch effort sampling strategies, and provide a medium for the dissemination and exchange of ideas". Although 31 countries and all continents were represented at the meeting, a strong European bias (24 papers) is evident in the contributions; the continents of South America, Asia and Australasia are each represented by a single paper, and the great amount of work done in North America yields only two papers, although several papers deal with the artisanal fisheries in East African lakes.