Thursday, April 28, 2011
Aquaculture, also known as aqua-farming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish; Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments.
European sea bass, sea bream, trout, yellowtail kingfish, tilapia, barramundi, grouper, shrimp, oysters, clams and many other aquatic species farming has turned into the new "cash crops" since the 1990’s.
Growing public demand for a healthy tasty and affordable food is stimulating the "boom" in this industry. The decline in wild fish populations as a result of overharvest and water pollution has promoted the culture of farm-fresh fish that are grown in contaminant-free waters in a variety of water bodies systems.
Aquaculture continues to be the fastest growing animal food-producing sector and to outpace population growth. World Fish consumption per capita increased from 0.7 kg in 1970, 7.8 kg in 2006 to 17 kg in 2010 (FAO).
Accounting for almost 55 percent of the world’s food fish production, Aquaculture is set to overtake capture fisheries as a source of food fish. From a production of less than 1 million tonnes per year in the early 1950s, production in 2008 was reported to be 59.25 million tonnes with a value of US$89.75 billion, representing an annual growth rate of nearly 7 percent.