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Aquaculture (sometimes misspelled "aquiculture") is the cultivation of natural produce, such as fish , shellfish , and aquatic plants , of aquatic environments . Mariculture is specifically marine aquaculture, and thus is a subset of aquaculture. Some examples of aquaculture include raising catfish and tilapia in freshwater ponds, growing cultured pearls , and farming salmon in net-pens set out in a bay.



Aquaculture has been one of the fastest growing segments of global food production inrecent decades, and has been hailed as an answer to declining wild fish stocks caused largely by overfishing .


In countries like the U.K. , Canada , Norway , and Chile , salmon and trout farming are one of thefastest-growing forms of agriculture . As the number of these "fish farms"expands, adverse impacts to local aquatic environments increase from fish wastes, uneaten food, escapees, and use of chemicals tocontrol disease.

Many farmed fish species are carnivorous , meaning that other wild fish speciesmust be overfished to maintain the fish farm.

Other problems with aquaculture include the potential for increasing the spread of unwanted invasive species , as farmed species are often not native to the area in which they are farmed. Whenthese species escape, they can compete with native species and damage ecosystems. Another problem is the spread of introducedparasites and pests.

See also: fishery


  • Hepburn, J. 2002. Taking Aquaculture Seriously. Organic Farming, Winter 2002 Soil Association.
  • Naylor, R.L., S.L. Williams, and D.R. Strong. 2001. Aquaculture - A Gateway For Exotic Species.Science, 294: 1655-6.

External links

  • Organic Aquaculture: Articles and references on themerits and otherwise of farming fish organically.
  • Aquaculture Knowledge Environment: A searchable online library of government and United Nationsdocuments covering nearly every aspect of aquaculture from pond construction to international codes of conduct.

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