Interesting Facts about Aquaculture

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In the simplest of interpretations, Aquaculture means farming of fishes and other aquatic organisms, including crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. In contrast to commercial fishing, aquaculture involves more than just harvest of freshwater and saltwater fishes in a closed environment. It implies the cultivation of aquatic life of a particular ecological system in a controlled environment. To put it another way, aquaculture is simply agriculture of aquatic life. The Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UNO has clearly defined aquaculture in terms of stocking, feeding and protection which ultimately contributes to growth of aquatic life in the controlled environment, turning into a successful production process. Aquaculture, in a broad sense, can mean the cultivation of any sort of aquatic life, including fish, shrimp, oyster and even algae.

Unknown to us, we are falling more and more dependent on aquaculture as the traditional process of hunting/gathering is gradually becoming incapable of providing us with enough aquatic resources. This is more so because in a wild and natural environment, the aquatic organisms are decreasing in number. We need aquaculture, so as to make sure that the organisms thrive in controlled environments.

There are interesting facts about aquaculture that the common people are unaware of. Some of these facts are:

  • According to a report submitted by the FAO, in the near future, aquaculture is intended to provide at least half the fish and shellfish that are consumed by humans world-wide.

  • Knowledge and practice of proto-types of Aquaculture was present in the ancient world as it has been claimed by experts on this field. Pools created by flood water were used as closed natural environments for the breeding of fishes in China as early as 2500 B.C

  • The fish hatchery in Dildo Island, established in 1889 C.E, was the first modern centre of aquaculture and it was the biggest of the 19th century.

  • Around 450 species of aquatic creatures have been brought under aquaculture as of 2007. Approximately 430 of those were had started being cultivated when the 20th century came to a close.

  • Till date, 0.17% of recorded marine plants and 0.13% of recorded marine animals have been brought under aquaculture.

  • Unlike in the case of the domestication of land animals by humans, there have been no cases of diseases being transmitted to humans from the domesticated marine organisms.

  • Fishes are the most important and widely cultivated marine organisms in aquaculture. The most cultivated of all the domesticated species are carp, salmon, tilapia and catfish.

  • Late into the first decade of the 21st century, different types of tuna fish were being cultivated in Australia.

  • One of the major concerns surrounding aquaculture has been the decreasing optimal stocking density, or simply the living space for the organisms, the reduction of which can cause serious health-hazards in marine creatures kept in closed environments.

  • Geothermal energy is recommended for aquaculture and 16 countries have started using this source of energy till now.

These are only some of the lesser known facts about aquaculture. In the modern world, aquaculture seems to be the answer for a sustained capacity of production when it comes to aquatic life.

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