A number of fish species are cultivated in freshwater ponds throughout the world. Some have been studied only on trial bases and have either failed or proved their potential for culture, but are yet to be considered for serious cultivation. Further, some fishes are being cultivated not necessarily because of their cultivable qualities, but because of a lack of better species. Such fishes have generally been excluded from the scope of this manual. A list of fish species already being used for culture or which have established high potentials for culture in freshwater ponds in warm and temperate regions is provided in Table 1. Salmonids are excluded from the list, however, as they are considered beyond the scope of this manual.
It is difficult to prescribe which fish species a farmer in a particular region should culture. One would normally prefer those which are familiar and which one has already been cultivating. Such fish are generally those which breed in ponds, or those whose seeds are readily available in rivers or coastal waters. It is advisable, however, to utilize the results of research conducted within the last three decades, in the fields of artificial propagation and seed rearing, which has made it possible to utilize several species of river and sea spawners with proven high yields for pond culture.