I stumbled upon this term in a section called Induced breeding of Carps in an Applied Zoogy book.

Traditional practice is to collect seed from the natural riverine habitatwhich also contain uneconomic,unwanted and predator fish species.

What are seeds? Does it mean zygote ?

  • $\begingroup$ I can't tell from the quoted text, but could this refer to milt/sperm? 'Seed' (not seeds) is used in this context. $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. This FAO document seems to imply that it is a collective term for all the young life stages of fish from hatchling to fingerling. $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting - looks like this is used fairly widely in fish farming but not actually defined anywhere I can see. From the context, another possible definition is 'juvenile life stages used to start a fish farm, usually but not always collected from the wild'. $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:47

2 Answers 2


Fertilized fish eggs are known as Fish seeds. In simple words, they are the baby fishes used for seeding new Ponds in fisheries.

They can be used in 4 stages:

  1. Hatchling : Larvae stage where it have yolk sac hanging below from where it draws its nutrition for 2–3 days. It can't eat from outside as mouth is not formed yet!

Fish at Hatchling stage

  1. Spawn: Stage where mouth is formed.

Spawn Stage

  1. Fry: About ~2 cm long, now, it can eat small size zooplanktons!

enter image description here

  1. Fingerling: About ~15 cm long. It is now becomes easier to transport these kinds of fishes to Ponds.

enter image description here

Source (Picture Credits) :

Pic 1. https://www.ucdavis.edu (https://www.ucdavis.edu/sites/default/files/images/article/trout_lg.jpg) Pic 2. Wikimedia (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Anemone_Fish_protecting_it's_spawn.jpg)

Pic 3. Fishbio (http://fishbio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Oncorhynchus-mykiss-fry.jpg)

Pic 4. Deveron (http://www.deveron.org/wb/media/images/parr.jpg)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ''Fertilized fish eggs are known as Fish seeds. In simple words, they are the baby fishes used for seeding new Ponds in fisheries.'' -can you support your claim with citations? $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Dec 6, 2016 at 7:35

A fish 'seed' is a juvenile fish to be used for fish farming.

'Seed' appears to be an industrial/technical term in fish farming used to refer either collectively to the juvenile life stages of fish (hatchling, spawn, fry and fingerling), or specifically to fry (the stage after the yolk sac disappears and before scales form).

It is used in contrast to broodstock or broodfish - essentially, it is what you collect from broodfish, or from the wild, to start a new farming 'batch' (fish farming is a batch process). It sounds like it can be used as a mass noun.

It is surprisingly difficult to find anywhere this definition is stated straightforwardly, although it is used in multiple places in the fish farming literature. However, the definition can be inferred from the context. For example, it is used as a collective heading for the columns "Feeding fry", "Dhani" (a Bengali term for post-larvae) and "Fingerling" in Table 3 (Section 2.1.2, "Broodfish requirement") of the FAO manual on seed production of carps. However, in the FAO document "Seed production: an overview" and this presentation on Slideshare it appears to be used interchangeably with 'fry'. It is clearly differentiated from eggs; for example in the Slideshare presentation above it is mentioned that seed is produced by hatcheries (so consists of hatched fish).


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