How to optimise production costs in aquaculture: FCR, SGR and SFR.

FCR, SGR and SFR are important for fish production costs because they directly affect the amount of feed needed to produce a given amount of biomass.

  • A low FCR means that less feed is needed to produce a given amount of biomass, which reduces production costs.
  • A high SGR can also help to reduce production costs, as it means that fish can reach their marketable size in a shorter period of time.
  • A low SFR can help reduce production costs, as it means that the fish are not wasting feed.

These indicators not only help us to evaluate the productivity of our culture, they also help us to take care of the welfare of our fish and their environment, for example a high FCR and SFR indicate that we are wasting food, we can continue to feed our fish but they will not have the ability to convert everything we give them into biomass, as part of the food will go to the bottom and we will have a higher rate of excretions. This has a direct impact on our culture water and environment.

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    • Unconsumed food decomposes in the water, releasing nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
    • Excess nutrients can lead to eutrophication, an uncontrolled growth of algae that will reduce dissolved oxygen and affect water quality.
    • The decomposition of food also consumes dissolved oxygen, which will be detrimental to our fish and other aquatic organisms.

    Deterioration of the pond floor

    • Uneaten food accumulates on the pond bottom, creating a layer of decaying organic matter.
    • This layer reduces the permeability of the soil and affects natural water filtration.
    • The decomposition of organic matter also produces gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide, which are harmful to our fish and other organisms.

    Impact on fish health

    • Water contaminated with decaying feed can be a breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens.
    • Fish that ingest contaminated water or feed can become sick and suffer from digestive problems.
    • Poor water quality will directly affect the growth and well-being of our fish.

    Increased costs

    • Feed wastage represents an economic loss to the producer.
    • Poor water quality can increase production costs due to the need to use more energy for water aeration and treatments to remove contaminants.
    • Application of veterinary treatments to manage the occurrence of pathologies.


    To reduce the impact of feed wastage in the culture water, the following measures, among others, can be implemented:

    • Feed fish in adequate quantities: Carry out frequent biometries to more accurately calculate the amount of feed needed based on biomass and water conditions.
    • Use high quality feed: High quality feed is more digestible by fish, which reduces the amount of waste.
    • Implement a biofiltration system: Biofilters help remove nutrients and other pollutants from the water.
    • Monitor water quality: It is important to regularly measure water parameters to detect problems early.
    • Use management tools: there are applications such as SmartWater Cloud, which makes it easier to manage our production, and they already give us the values of FCR, SGR and SFR, among others, so we don’t have to worry about making these calculations every day.

    By reducing feed waste and improving water quality, you can improve the economic viability and sustainability of your crop and protect the environment.

    Checkout our other post to know more about FCR, SGR and FCR.

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