There are numerous performance indicators used by aquaculture farms to measure the success of a production cycle.
Top 5 Aquaculture Performance Indicators
1. Feed conversion ratio (FCR)
Feed is the biggest cost on aquaculture farms, so making sure that fish and shrimp properly utilize feed is a very valuable metric for producers.
The lower the number, the more efficiently the feed is being converted into weight gain. Producers and nutritionists work together to decrease the FCR, therefore getting more output for the same amount of input.
FCR = feed given (g) / animal weight gain (g)
2. Survival rate
Numerous factors affect the survival rate of aquatic species—many of them in the external water environment, which harbors many pathogens. Disease management is a constant priority in aquaculture production, and is carried out with the help of the survival rate metric.
During periods of disease challenge, producers may monitor survival rate over specific periods of time within the production cycle to determine the effectiveness of any treatment given.
Survival rate % = number of surviving animals at the end of the production cycle / total number of animals at the beginning of the cycle * 100
3. Body weight gain (BWG)
Fish and shrimp are traded on weight, so the heavier the animals, the more the producer will be paid. Fish and shrimp diets are formulated using the best ingredients to encourage weight gain.
Producers will monitor body weight gain throughout the production cycle by weighing a sample of animals and extrapolating the calculation for the whole population.
Body weight gain (g) = final body weight (g) – initial body weight (g)
4. Average daily gain (ADG)
Further to how much the animals grow, the rate at which the fish and shrimp grow is also crucial to know. Being able to predict when a crop will reach their final weight allows producers to forecast how many crops they can grow in a year, and helps with the purchase of inputs such as feed.
This metric can also be adjusted to calculate weight gain over different lengths of time as required by the production unit, e.g. the weekly growth rate (WGR).
Average daily gain (g) = body weight gain (g) / number of days
5. Yield / hectare
This performance indicator takes into account the stocking density and measures the output per unit of production space. It is typically measured in kg / ha but this varies depending on country and species.
Yield / ha = total output (kg) / total production area (ha)