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Aquaculture and Marine Biology
What is Aquaculture?
Aquaculture is described as the farming of saltwater and freshwater organisms such as molluscs, fishes, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Aquaculture is different from fishing. It is also called aquafarming, presents the cultivation of aquatic populations under controlled conditions. Mariculture defines aquaculture applied in marine environments. Certain types of aquaculture involves algaculture, shrimp farming, fish farming, oyster farming and the raising of cultured pearls. Some of the methods include aquaponics, integrating both plant and fish farming.
Effects on the Environment
Since aquaculture has spread rapidly, there are some individuals showing concern about the impact on the environment. Aquaculture can be more damaging environmentally, compared to exploiting wild fisheries. The concerns involve handling of waste, side effects of antibiotics, contesting between wild and farmed types and giving feed for carnivorous fish sought after by consumers. Sufficient research and improvements in commercial feeds triggered the reduction of the environmental effects.
Farming carnivorous fish such as salmon boosts the pressure on wild fish. New studies present that enough diets for salmon and other carnivorous fish can be created from protein sources aside from fish meal, thereby minimizing pressure on fishery resources.
There are recirculating aquaculture systems located inland, well-located facilities and facilities applying polyculture techniques. These help manage the bad effects of fish waste to the environment. Fish waste is made up of nutrients needed in all components of food webs in the water. It is also organic. Aquaculture has a very concentrated nature that can trigger above normal fish waste levels in the water.
Types of Aquaculture
Algaculture is a type of aquaculture that includes the farming of algae species. Microalgae makes up most of cultivated algai. Fish farming is the most common type, which involves raising commercial fish in enclosures and tanks for food. Some of the fish types kept include trout, catfish, salmon and tilapia.
Freshwater prawn farming is almost the same as marine shrimp farming. The main species involved is the giant river prawn. Mariculture is described as a special branch of aquaculture that includes the cultivation of marine organisms in the open ocean. This includes the farming of oysters, prawns and marine fish. Shrimp farming is another form of aquaculture which involves the cultivation of marine shrimp to be eaten by humans.
Some countries heavily rely on aquaculture to provide for their ever-growing population, such as China. China recently accounted for about 70% of the aquaculture production worldwide. About 90% of all United States shrimp consumption is imported or farmed. Chile is also joining the bunch by doing salmon aquaculture and exporting in different regions.
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