Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other aquatic organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.
According to the FAO, aquaculture “Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated.”The reported output from global aquaculture operations in 2014 supplied over one half of the fish and shellfish that is directly consumed by humans; however, there are issues about the reliability of the reported figures. Further, in current aquaculture practice, products from several pounds of wild fish are used to produce one pound of a piscivorous fish like salmon.
Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, mariculture, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.
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