Is it a pond or a lake?

Ponds can be defined as shallow bodies of standing or flowing water. They can be formed naturally, such as a natural depression of land filled with water, or artificially, a depression formed with human intervention.

The joints can be divided into two main groups, viz. into carp and trout, and in each of them the way of raising fish is quite different.

Functions of the joint

The primary function of ponds is their productive activity. Historical data indicate that the beginning of the development of pond farming in Poland is the 15th century, although the first facilities of a productive nature functioned much earlier.

Ponds, especially flow-through ones, have a purification function. The water flowing into them from the rivers is rich in nutrients, so that, due to biochemical transformations, fertility increases in the ponds. This allows, on the one hand, to create a food base for the organisms living in them (including fish), and on the other hand, thanks to the fish, the post-production water discharged from the ponds has a lower nutrient content. This has a positive impact on river water quality.

However, the pond is not only advantages. The extraction of water in the spring for the purpose of flooding the pond, its discharge in the fall, or the constant intake and discharge of water into/out of the pond disrupts the hydrological regime of the watercourses.

The increased humidity of the air and soil in the areas surrounding the ponds contributes to the development of the vegetation cover, creating conditions for the establishment of various animal species, which consequently promotes the growth of biodiversity. The concentration of ponds in an area is conducive to keeping humidity near the ground surface.

The ponds help regulate groundwater levels, and also serve as reserve water reservoirs for times of drought.

Fishing farms in rural areas are often the main place of employment for local residents and part of the economic functioning of a region. The map below shows the size of fishponds in each province.

Fish ponds help make the region more attractive to tourists and are a great place for a fishing adventure.

In recent years, a component of pond fishery production has been the rearing of stocking material for the stocking of open waters.

The natural diversity of the fishponds and the surrounding nature, the landscaping, the fishing tradition or the recreational value of the ponds mean that they also have great educational potential.

Fish in the pond

In Poland, ponds mainly raise carp, although the proportion of fish of other species is increasing every year.

Carp ponds, in addition to their primary role of producing carp, also have natural and social functions. The rearing technology takes into account the natural rhythm of the seasons. It is based on cyclical spring filling and autumn emptying of the ponds, with water retention during the summer. Thus, carp ponds provide flow stabilization in rivers.

The breeding ponds are also inhabited by trout. Trout farming and breeding allow a large production on a small area. Nevertheless, they bring challenges, as this species has considerable environmental requirements – it needs plenty of, well-saturated oxygenated water and small temperature amplitudes. Meeting these conditions can cause a deficit of surface water in the catchment. In addition, the use of river water for trout production is associated with a decline in its quality, as a result of the introduction of elements such as feed, drugs, and preventive chemicals into the ponds.

The ponds can also raise such fish species as catfish, tench, amur and pike.

stawy rybne
Area of fish ponds in 2016. by province.
Diagram: Monika Mazur, Pectore-Eco, based on: “Identification of pressures in water regions and river basin areas” Part II: Development of a database on anthropogenic pressures, Phase II – part on other anthropogenic pressures

What funds support fishing and fisheries?

In the European Union’s financial perspective for 2021 – 2027, support for the fishing sector will take place through the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EFMRA).

EFMRA targets operators in the fishing and maritime sectors. Its main goals include:

To enable the use of funds under EFMRA, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has prepared a program called European Funds for Fisheries, approved by the European Commission on December 9, 2022.

In developing the program, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various branches of the fisheries sector (including marine and inland fisheries, aquaculture, processing and marketing) was carried out, and opportunities and threats were identified for these areas. On the basis of the analyses made, taking into account the legal framework of the fund, a catalog of activities necessary for implementation in the next years was developed. These activities, especially those planned under Priorities 1 and 2 of the European Funds for Fisheries program, are aimed at, among others. To entities operating in the field of fishing and fish farming.

More information about the European Funds for Fisheries program can be found on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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