Fish plays an important role in the diet of the people of Pakistan. It is a very rich source of animal protein. Daily per caput protein consumption in Pakistan is very low as compared to that in Japan, USA and Canada. The low input of protein is the main cause of general, debility and infant mortality in most developing and under-developed countries. This situation can be tackled by increasing the production of fish and providing it on cheaper rates which is possible only if improved scientific techniques and devices are used to develop an efficient fish farming system.
Pakistan has vast fishery resources but the present rate of production is inadequate to meet the requirements of the alarmingly increasing population of the country. One of the most economic and cheapest ways to meet this problem is to integrate the fish ponds with livestock farms. Ponds are frequently located in a manner that wastes from chickens drop directly into the pond. For cattle, sheep or goat, it may be more practical to transport the manure from cattle farms to the fish ponds. Wastes from these farms act as an efficient fertilizer for promoting growth of plankton (Zooplankton/phytoplankton) which is then utilized directly or indirectly as food for fish. The integration of fish culture with livestock rearing holds great promise and potential for augmenting production of animal protein, betterment of the economy, and generation of employment in rural areas. Besides providing cheap protein rich food, integrated farming has proved to be an efficient means of waste disposal (thus reducing fly and odor problems associated with livestock) and has allowed savings on the use of inorganic fertilizers and supplemental feeds in fish production. The gap between the demand and supply of inorganic fertilizers is increasing day-by-day due to intensive cropping of the high yielding varieties of cereals. The recycling of organic wastes through integrated farming systems can help to solve this problem. The cattle fodder, vegetables and fruit crops grown on the terraced embankments of the pond which are not normally utilized in the fish culture operations, provide fodder for the grass carp and cattles and extra income to the farmer. The organic detritus removed from the pond bottom can also serve as an efficient fertilizer for growing land crops.