Aquaculture or aqua farming is the cultivation of aquatic organisms – fish, shellfish and aquatic plants.Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc.
It includes both marine water and freshwater species and can range from land based to open ocean production.
Particular kinds of aquaculture include the production of kelp, seaweed, and other algae, fish farming, and shrimp farming, shellfish farming, and growing of cultured pearls.
Types of Aquaculture
• Aquaculture involving the farming of species of algae.
• The majority of algae cultivated fall into the category of microalgae referred to as phytoplankton microphytes, or plankton, algae Microalgae, commonly known as seaweed.
• Due to their size and the specific requirements of the environment in which they grow, they are not cultivated on a large scale ,more often harvested wild from the ocean.
b) Fish farming:
• It is the principal form of aquaculture.
• It involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food.
• Fish species raised by fish farms include salmon, catfish, tilapia, cod, carp, trout, etc.
• Increasing demands of wild fisheries by commercial fishing operations have caused Widespread Over fishing.
• Fish farming offers an alternative solution to the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein.
c) Fresh water prawn farming:
• It is an aquaculture business designed to raise and produce fresh water prawn or shrimp for human consumption.
d) Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA):
• It is a practice in which the byproducts (wastes) from one species are recycled to become inputs (fertilizers, food) for another.
• Food aquaculture (e.g. fish, shrimp) is combined with inorganic extractive (e.g. sea weed) and organic extractive (e.g. shell fish) aquaculture to create balanced systems.
• It helps in maintaining environmental sustainability, economic stability (product diversification and risk reduction), and social acceptability (better Management practice).
• It is a specialized branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organism for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean.
• Example is the farming of marine fish, prawns, or oysters in salt water ponds.
• Non-food products produced by mariculture include fish meal, nutrient agar, jewelleries (e.g. cultured pearls), and cosmetics.
f) Shrimp farming:
• It is the form of aquaculture for the cultivation of marine shrimp for human consumption.
• About 75% of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia in particular China and Thailand.
• The other 25% is produced mainly in Latin America, where Brazil is the largest producer. The largest exporting destination is Thailand.
• Whale is, in fact, a sea mammal and not strictly fish. However, it makes significant contribution to the economy of large fishing nations.
• Two thirds of the whales are caught in the southern oceans, south of latitude 50 degree, the other one third coming mainly from the north Pacific and north Atlantic.
• South Africa, South America and Australia account for nearly 10%.