The broad term “aquaculture” refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
Aquaculture is used for:
Producing seafood for human consumption;
Enhancing wild fish, shellfish, and plant stocks for harvest;
Restoring threatened and endangered aquatic species;
Rebuilding ecologically-important shellfish habitat;
Producing nutritional and industrial compounds; and
Providing fish for aquariums.
What is aquaculture?
Since the mid-20th century, advances in technology have given rise to massive industrial fishing operations that can rapidly empty waters of species like bluefin tuna or Atlantic cod while satisfying an ever-increasing demand for seafood. UN-tracked fisheries have shown steady declines in catches since 1988—even as more fishers take to the water with ever more efficient gear. Some studies estimate that populations of large ocean fish are only 10 percent as big as their preindustrial levels. (National Geographic.com)
Today's ocean managers are challenged to cooperate internationally and use scientific knowledge of fish stocks to replace loosely regulated fisheries with well-managed, sustainable resources. This can be accomplished by implementing tools such as marine reserves, protected areas, and strict catch limits. (National Geographic.com)
Experts at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization say we will need another 40 million tons of seafood worldwide per year by 2030, just to meet current consumption rates. Wild-caught fisheries cannot produce the required volumes for the world's growing population and aquaculture is a sustainable alternative for fish production.
Why do we need aquaculture?
General Aquaculture Information & Videos
There is a wealth of information available about aquaculture and the concerns for sustainable, responsible farming. Please find some reading: