Provision of adequate numbers of quality fish fry is often a key constraint on aquaculture development. The management of climate-related risks in hatchery and nursery management operations has not received much attention, but is likely to be a key element of successful adaptation to climate change in the aquaculture sector.

The study finds that the hatcheries have to consider several factors when planning production, including farmer demand; production capacity of the hatchery; availability of water resources; local climate and other area factors; and, individual species requirements.

Nile tilapia is the most commonly cultured species of freshwater fish. Most fry production is done in the wet season, as cold spells and drought conditions disrupt hatchery production and reduce fish farm demand in the dry season. In the wet season, some hatcheries are impacted by floods.

Using a set of scenarios to capture major uncertainties and variability in climate, the authors suggest some strategies that should help make hatchery operations more resilient to climate change, in particular: improving hatchery operations and management to deal better with risks under current climate variability; improving monitoring and information systems so that emerging climate-related risks are known sooner and understood better, and research and development on alternative species, breeding programs, improving water management and other features of hatchery operations.

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