The term aquaculture refers to the farming of aquatic organisms in controlled environments for any recreational, commercial, or public purpose. The rearing, breeding, and harvesting of animals and plants takes place in all types of water environments comprising rivers, ponds, lakes, and man-made “closed” systems on land.
Aquaculture is one of the rapidly growing forms of food production across the world. It is due to the harvest from number of fisheries has peaked across the globe. Aquaculture is highly recognized as an efficient way to meet the seafood demand of a rising population.
With the help of aquaculture technologies and techniques, aquaculture industry and researchers are “farming” all types of freshwater & marine species of shellfish and fish.
In 2015, the Asia Pacific region dominated the market for aquaculture. Likewise, China was one of the largest country in Asia Pacific which accounted for around 58.0% global shares in 2015.
Aquaculture serves for many purposes, comprising:
- Food production
- Reforming of populations of threatened
- Wild stock enlargement
- Habitat Restoration
- Fish culture for aquariums and zoos
- Production of baitfish
Types of Aquaculture
Mariculture involves the use of sea water. However, it can either done next to an ocean, with a dividend part of the ocean or in pools separate from the ocean, but involving sea water all the same. The organisms farmed here from molluscs to sea food such as prawn and shellfish. Rising plants such as seaweed are also part of mariculture. Such animal species and sea plants find many uses in manufacturing industries.
- Fish Farming
It is one of the common type of aquaculture. Fish farming includes the discerning breeding of fish, either in sea water or fresh water, with the purpose of generating a food source for human consumption.
Algaculture is a form of aquaculture including the cultivation of algae. However, algae are microbial organisms which share plant and animal characteristics in which they are motile sometimes. Though, for economic feasibility, algacultures have to be developed and harvested in huge numbers.
- Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture
Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture is an advanced system of aquaculture in which different levels are integrated into the system to deliver different nutritional requirements for each other. It is an effective system due to it tries to emulate the environmental system which exists in the natural habitat.
Importance of Aquaculture
- Health Benefits
The demand for seafood has raised due to growing awareness of healthier diets and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and many others major diseases.
Fish farms without water bodies will offer an additional job opportunities, as maximum people will be involved in the complete business chain such as breeders, researchers, fish food manufacturers, marines, equipment manufacturers, processors, storage facilities, transportation, restaurants, as well as marketing companies.
- Environmental Benefits
There are huge developments in all forms of aquaculture systems. Particularly for offshore systems, there are camera & surveillance infrastructure, bio-security systems, and trained inspectors who ensure that fish farms are complying by ecologically safe practices. This assists to diminish disease spreading in the water and so on.