Aquaculture is the cultivation and farming of fish, shellfish, and algae in all types of water environments. It is used to produce food, restore habitats, and protect endangered species.
Good aquaculture helps the people and the planet. It helps the people because it is an excellent source of jobs, and it helps the planet because it is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
What Are the Different Types of Aquaculture?
There are three main types of aquaculture"”mariculture, fish farming, and algaculture.
Mariculture requires seawater and takes place in the ocean, in a segmented part of the ocean, or in a seawater pond. The main organisms bred in this environment are molluscs, shellfish, seaweed and prawns.
This is by far the most common type of aquaculture. It involves the breeding of fish in both seawater and freshwater.
It is also the most flexible type of aquaculture as it can be done in any space. Certain types of fish farming can work just as well in a 2-meter square pond as they would in a 2,000-meter square sea environment.
Algaculture involves the commercial farming of algae. Algae are microbial organisms that need to be harvested on a huge scale.
Algae has many uses, including as a plastic, as a food supplement, and as a fertilizer. But its most important use is as a biofuel. It is possible to produce up to 5,000 gallons of biofuel from a single acre of algae in a year.
Benefits of Aquaculture
There are innumerable benefits of aquaculture, but here are four of the most important ones.
1) Fish is a rich source of protein
With 75% of the Earth being covered in water, and almost eight billion people, aquaculture is more important than ever to meet global food needs. Fish and seafood are low in fat, high in nutrients, and a great source of cheap protein.
2) Aquaculture provides employment opportunities
Aquaculture is a multibillion-dollar industry that employs millions of people. It is a reliable source of income, far more than fishing used to be, because fishermen can curate and control their own supply of product.
3) Algae is an alternative fuel source
Algae are a cheap and environmentally friendly source of fuel. They are easy to cultivate and are quickly abundant when provided with the correct growing conditions. Algae produce lipids that can be harvested and burnt"”the great thing about this is their only by-product is water.
4) Aquaculture reduces pressure on wild stock
Many marine species are on the brink of extinction because of fishing; aquaculture is one of the best ways to stop this decline. Aquaculture can help endangered fish in two distinct ways.
The first is that it is a stable method of farming fish, and therefore does not aggravate any existing problems. The second is that it can be used to reintroduce fish into the wild, thereby renewing wild stocks and allowing species to flourish.
Why Do We Need Aquaculture?
The human population is growing year by year, so the demand for food is too. We need sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of providing food to people around the world. Aquaculture is one of the best and cheapest ways to do this.