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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 early 2000s it had become almost as significant a source of fish as the as wild fisheries.

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.


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


References in periodicals archive ?
It proposes major improvements in finfish containment policy -- getting aquaculturists to reduce the numbers of fish escaping from pens.
Certainly aquaculture's future will belong to those species and those aquaculturists who succeed in doing with their animals what the broiler industry has done with its animals over the past 20 years.
No human pathogens of Harvest stagnation in wild fisheries and overexploitation of popular marine species, combined with a growing demand for high quality protein encourages aquaculturists to domesticate other marine species [9].
Orff and her team take a cue from Brooklyn's urban farming movement to imagine an expansive system of curving synthetic-rope nets, anchored to piles and locally seeded by enterprising aquaculturists.
In the early 1970s, several shellfish hatcheries in the state began to produce seed, mainly quahogs, for private aquaculturists (Fig.
But the plant-derived feeds that Barrows and aquaculturists worldwide are developing need extra myo-inositol.
The intimate association of bivalve agriculture with publicly owned marine waters presents monumental challenges for aquaculturists, as they have no real control over the pollutants or potential disease-causing organisms to which the animals are exposed--or to the quality of the animals' food in the marine environment.
Aquaculturists there started in the early 1990s with 200 locally caught fish.
xviii) Unfettered by the environmental and labor laws that drive up the cost of US-farmed salmon, Chilean aquaculturists have lately come under fire for killing off predatory sea lions, for failing to deal with food waste and feces, for flooding the waters with antibiotics and for exploitative labor practices.
Economically viable aquaculture would be a big bonus to help offset the costs, while aquaculturists would benefit by having access to a water supply and disposal system via evaporation ponds.