Aquaculture: The Basics

by on January 21, 2013


Aquaculture, is the process of raising marine life for human consumption under controlled conditions. The term may be used to refer to raising fish, crustaceans, aquatic plants, or a combination of these. It is also  commonly called aquafarming or aquaponics. It is interesting to note that this practice is not a new one. The native people of Australia were raising eels as early as 6000 BC while the people of China practiced aquaculture in 2500 BC. It is believe that a genetic mutation of carp took place because of aquaculture that led to the household pet known as the goldfish.

Aquaculture that takes place in protected areas of seawater is more correctly known as mariculture, but for our purposes we are going to focus on the segment of aquaculture that marries the raising of fish with the raising of plants, both for consumption. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture or IMTA involves the use of marine waste as fertilizer for plants. While this could technically be done by hand, there are a number of methods in use today through which the processes are combined.

Large tanks hold the fish whose waste sinks to the bottom of the tanks. The waste is then pumped out of those tanks and into a holding tank where it awaits use as fertilizer for plants. In some aquaculture setups, plants are even grown that can be fed back to the fish, thus completing a sustainability circle. The balance of biology and chemistry is one that may take years to perfect. It could involve the use of different species of fish or crustaceans that are beneficial both as a food source with commercial value and as a source of viable fertilizer.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Maggie L January 23, 2013 at 1:10 PM

How would you find out about raising catfish as a organic food source?

Thank you


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