Meaning of Marine Aquaculture
Marine aquaculture is the process of raising and harvesting animals and plants for commercial use. Aquaculture can take place in artificial bodies of water or in existing waterways.
Marine aquaculture refers to the farming of marine animals, such as shrimp, salmon, oysters, and mussels.
Aquaculture includes many different types of agriculture. The industry produces hatcheries of shellfish and fish for release into the wild, as well as the production of shellfish and fish for consumption.
Marine aquaculture also encompasses the production of fish for the pet industry, as well as many plants used by pharmaceutical and nutritional companies.
The most common form of marine aquaculture is the production of molluscs, which include clams, mussels and oysters. Farm-raised salmon is another popular product in marine aquaculture, as are shrimp.
While most of the production of these animals occurs in coastal waters, there are several offshore aquaculture sites.
Several different forms of marine aquaculture are used throughout the world. They include marine farming, line farming and intensive aquaculture.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and farmers often choose based on the type of fish or shellfish they plan to grow.
This type of aquaculture only works for animals, such as sea cucumbers, which remain in place as they grow. No fishing is allowed in the area until after harvest.
Line and rack culture provide additional structures for the animals, but no additional feeding is done.
Intensive aquaculture is the type of aquaculture closest to conventional agriculture. The animals live in pens or sea cages, and the farmer provides them with food. Salmon and tuna are often raised this way. It is also the most labor intensive form of aquaculture.
There are many benefits to marine aquaculture. They include producing seafood that tastes good and is consistent in quality, the ability to produce more seafood in less space, reduction in the amount of dead wild fish and shellfish, and the ability for countries to farm their own seafood, reducing the import demand.
The downside of aquaculture is that, in some countries, government oversight does not keep pace with the growth of aquaculture, raising potential environmental concerns.
Some forms of farmed shellfish are also believed to be less healthy than wild-caught fish.