aquaculture

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aquaculture,

the raising and harvesting of fresh- and saltwater plants and animals. The most economically important form of aquaculture is fish farming, an industry that accounts for an ever increasing share of world fisheries production. Formerly a business for small farms, it is now also pursued by large agribusinesses, and by the mid-2010s it had become as significant a source of fish as the as wild fisheriesfisheries.
From earliest times and in practically all countries, fisheries have been of industrial and commercial importance. In the large N Atlantic fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, European and North American fishing fleets have long taken cod,
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.

Successful aquaculture takes into consideration the biology of the aquatic species (feeding, water flow and temperature needs, disease prevention) and engineering design (water source and water quality study, pond and tank containment systems, water filtration and aeration) as well as issues pertinent to any business. Common products of aquaculture are catfish, tilapia (St. Peter's fish), trout, crawfish, oysters, shrimp, and salmon, and tropical fish for aquariums. Caviar from farm-raised sturgeon is one of the more expensive and exotic aquacultural products. Some are raised in huge freshwater tanks or ponds; others require the running water of rivers or streams. Saltwater species are often raised in saltwater ponds, in enclosed bays, or in pens placed in coastal or deeper sea waters.

There are potential environmental problems associated with aquaculture. Most of the fish that are raised are genetically altered or hybridized for quick growth. If they escape into the wild, they compete against and can crowd out smaller or less voracious native fish. Confined fish can become a breeding ground for diseases or pests, which can be transmitted in some cases to wild fish; confinement also makes the fish more suspectible to attacks by some naturally occurring pests, such as some species of jellyfish, that would be less likely to trouble dispersed wild fish. In addition, the large amounts of water that are used in aquaculture become laden with fish feces and unconsumed food that, if not removed through treatment or used as agricultural fertilizer, can add injurious amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus to a river or stream when the water is returned to it. Development of improved recirculating-tank technologies, however, may lead to a reduction in such pollution threats, as well as the spread of aquaculture to areas where large volumes of water are not available in the environment (see also aquaponicsaquaponics,
the growing of plants and the raising of fish by combining aquaculture with the techniques of hydroponics, usually on a small scale. Water containing fish waste matter is used as the nutrient solution for the plants being raised; the plants help clean the water that
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).

The practice of aquaculture dates back to 1000 B.C. in China. It is growing worldwide, in part in response to overfishing and the deterioration of the world's fisheries and concerns about the effects of pollution on seafood. In the United States, aquaculture is also a response to the increased demand for fish and shellfish as a result of changes in the nation's eating habits.

Bibliography

See M. Landau, Introduction to Aquaculture (1992).

aquaculture

[′ak·wə‚kəl·chər]
(biology)
References in periodicals archive ?
Developing World Turns to Aquaculture to Ward off Malnutrition II-30
Developing Countries to Mobilize Resources for Aquaculture II-30
Table 32: Global Fish and Fishery Products Trade (2012):Percentage Share Breakdown of Trade Value by Type of MarineSpecies (includes corresponding Graph/Chart) II-41Demand for Diverse Products to Boost Seafood Trade II-41Issues Influencing Future Trade in Aquaculture and RelatedProducts II-42Externalities II-42Food Security II-42Quality II-42Tariffs II-42
AQUACULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT II-57Aquaculture II-57Environment Pollution II-57Fish for Fish Feed II-57Organic and Chemical Pollution II-57Mangroves and Shrimp Aquaculture II-58Intensive Shrimp Farming: A Threat to Environment II-58Best Production and Management Practices in Aquaculture II-58International Standards for Aquaculture Drugs II-59Aquaculture Trade Regulations II-59International Agreements II-59White Spot Disease - A Major Threat for Shrimp Industry II-59Predator Control in Aquaculture II-60
Table 19: World Fish Meal Consumption in Aquaculture by Type
Table 21: World Fish Oil Consumption in Aquaculture by Type
Table 29: Global Aquaculture and Fisheries Market (2002 &
Al- Faiz Fund Acquires Two Aquaculture Companies 77
A Conceptual Framework of the US Aquaculture Industry III-1
Table 69: The US Historic Review for Aquaculture andFisheries by Segment - Aquaculture and Fisheries MarketsIndependently Analyzed with Annual Consumption in ThousandTons for Years 2004 through 2009 (includes correspondingGraph/Chart) III-26
Table 70: The US 15-Year Perspective for Aquaculture and
Market Analysis III-27Current and Future Analysis III-27Fishing Industry Wrestles with Recession III-27Production & Retail Statistics: III-28Table 71: Canadian Aquaculture Production (excludingRe-stocking)(2006-2010) - Production Volume in tons (includes corresponding Graph/Chart) III-28