Aquaculture

This is another name for 'aquafarming'  and refers to a system in which fish, crustaceans, e.g. prawns and other marine animals are farmed under controlled conditions.

This also applies to aquatic plants such as algae and echinoderms (division of marine wildlife) such as sea urchins.

There is another similar type of aquatic farming known as 'mariculture' which refers to the harvesting of fish such as salmon in a marine environment. This is carried out in seawater environments.

Hawaii is ideally situated for aquaculture due to the variety of environments which help support this type of farming. These environments are water based or contain water which enables shrimp and seaweed amongst others to be cultivated.   

Aquaculture species

Examples of these include tuna, salmon, cod, carp, oysters, squid and octopus. These species are found in both fresh and salt water environments.

Aquaculture versus commercial fishing

Aquaculture differs from conventional fishing which is carried out for commercial reasons. Commercial fishing is the type of fishing people are more familiar with which involves the acquisition of wild fish for their commercial value.

An example of commercial fishing is the use of trawlers to harvest cod from the North Sea.

Types of aquaculture

There is more than type of aquaculture which includes:

  • Shrimp farming
  • Fish farming
  • Oyster farming
  • Seaweed farming

Shrimp farming

This is the practice of growing and harvesting prawns for human use i.e. consumption. This has grown over the years from a series of small, family-run businesses into a large global industry.

Fish farming

This is the main focus of aquaculture: it refers to the cultivation of fish in enclosures for the sole purpose of human consumption. Examples of this are salmon and trout farms which grow these fish in response to an increased demand.

Another similar practice is where young fish are released into the wild in order to boost the number of a particular species. This is known as 'fish hatchery'.

Oyster farming

This is another form of cultivation for human purposes. Oysters are prized as a delicacy in many parts of the world and are consumed either cooked or raw.

This type of farming is often run in conjunction with pearl farming which is another highly prized species.

Seaweed farming

Seaweed is a common marine plant which is cultivated for a variety of reasons, e.g. food, medicine etc. It is grown in batches which involves full control over every stage of its life cycle.

Another name for this is 'algaculture'. 

Concerns have been raised about the rise of aquaculture with an awareness of the needs of the various ecosystems such as coral reefs; balanced against those of the human race.

Future of aquaculture

Aquaculture has becoming increasingly popular over time and if it continues at this rate, may become the main food source for people in the future.