Aquaculture: What is it?

May 12, 2015 by Melissa

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals or plants for part or all of their life cycles. This practice mainly is well-known for its application to fisheries, yet that isn’t the only aspect aquaculture is able to be used for. Also, it applies to shrimp, oysters, and additional animals not traditionally considered as aquaculture.

Pearls include an additional product produced through aquaculture’s use. These are well-known as cultured pearls, and will be produced both in saltwater and freshwater. Oysters will be implanted with a core which it eventually will use to form a pearl that will take chance out of the equation. In many cases, while natural pearls are more valuable, cultured pearls will be more plentiful and simpler to produce, which is the reason why their value will be lower.

In the U.S., trout and catfish include the most typically-raised fish produced through aquaculture. Those species do well within a controlled environment and will produce a profit fairly quickly. As they usually don’t grow as large as their natural counterparts, merely because they don’t live as long, they oftentimes grow quicker, being fed supplements besides natural food.

The ones critical of aquaculture additionally suggest the practice will support major farming companies, instead of fishermen and small farmers. The expenses of beginning and sustaining an aquaculture business sometimes can be prohibitive for most wanting to become involved. Thus, in most instances the only ones that have the ability to get into the business include the ones with significant capital to outlay. Usually, they’re large corporations.

Other people claim that aquaculture includes a vital role of environmental stewardship. Technology now has gotten to a point in which species may be harvested at rates that vastly outpace the species’ capabilities of reproducing. Thereby, the only method of sustaining wild populations might be to supplement the populations that have farm-raised types of the species. As a matter of fact, the ones who support aquaculture activities think the practice is important to good environmental practices.