Image Source: Modern Farmer
What is Aquaculture?
Aquaculture , also known as shellfish or fish farming. There different fish farming activities which are breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals. In which, these animals and plants are found in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. This industry produces different kinds of food fish, sport fish, bait fish, ornamental fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, sea vegetables, and fish eggs.
The production of seafood from hatchery fish and shellfish which are grown to marketable sizes. These organisms are grown in ponds, tanks, cages, or raceways. Stock restoration or restocking is a form of aquaculture in which different fishes are introduced into the wild. These ranges from hatchery fish and shellfish are released in order to increase wild populations or coastal habitats such as oyster reefs.
Early History of Aquaculture
As early as 6000 BC, the people of Gunditjmara people in Victoria, Australia have captured eels in woven traps. There were evidences that can found in the floodplains of Lake Condah. These eels were preserved which certain techniques to be eaten all year round.
In 2500 BC, the Chinese people started aquaculture when carps and other fishes are trapped in lakes after the floods. This Chinese aqua culturist fed their brood with nymphs and silkworm feces. During the Ming Dynasty period, that works describing the complete aquaculture process were detailed. It was during this time, improvements were present from rearing density, poly culture, structure of ponds and disease control.
Moreover, the early Japanese people cultured seaweeds by using indigenous materials such as bamboo poles and later used nets. One products which Japanese are known for is nori which made of seaweeds for sushi making.
Indonesia was credit for the early development of brakish water aquaculture in the beginning of the 15th century. It spread across different Asians nations such as Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and China.
Romans bred fish in ponds and farmed oysters in coastal lagoons before 100 CE. Early Christians in Europe adopted the roman aquaculture practices. During the middle ages, the aquaculture began to flourish in Europe since fishes from the sea must be salted in order not rot. Fish ponds can usually be seen in these areas.
At least 1000 years ago, fishponds were constructed in Alekko. Hawaiians were known for their oceanic fish ponds. It was said that this fish ponds were built by mythical people known as Menehune dwarf people.
Top 5 Exporters in the Fish and Seafood Producer in the World.
1. China ($14.1 Billion USD)
China, the world’s largest seafood and fish exporter, is dominating the global stage since 2002. It has the largest fish farm in the world. Chinese fish industry in currently earning $14.1 billion annually according to International Trade Center. In 2013, China’s leading exports included squid and frozen cuttlefish ($1.6 billion USD), frozen shrimp and prawns ($1.2 billion USD), and frozen fish ($1 billion USD). There top export destinations are Japan, United States and Hong Kong for their seafood products. Approximately, there are 14 million people in China who are fishermen or fish farmers.
2. Norway ($8.8 Billion USD)
Just this 2015, there was a great success for the Norway fish and seafood export industry. It was a year when Norway exported seafood worth $8.8 billion USD. This amounts to 8% increase from the export value obtained in the previous year. Salmon and trout were the two leading species of fish exported from Norway in 2015. Other commodities exported are Codfish, clipfish and fresh codfish products are also one the leading exported products from Norway. Some of the growing commodities are shrimp, snow crab, and king crab.
3. Vietnam ($5.8 Billion USD)
Aquaculture and captive fisheries systems are both flourishing this country. Recently in 2012, Vietnam fish industry’s employs around 5 million people. There are about 8 million people who derive their income from the fisheries industry. The country’s income in the fish industry has around $5.8 billion USD in 2015. Japan has always been the top destination of Vietnam’s fish products..
4. USA ($5.1 Billion USD)
In this recent times, United States has an annually income of $5.1 Billion USD making it the the fourth largest supplier of fish in the world. The fish export industry has been growing significantly over recent years. In fact, the industry grew around 43% over the last 5 years. In 2014, Alaskan pollock, salmon, fish roe, and surimi are the commodities exported from the USA.
5. India ($4.6 Billion USD)
The Indian industry has been growing fast with an annual income of $4.6 Billion USD. Frozen shrimp and prawns continued to be the leading export product, contributing 34% India exports their seafood products found in the USA (26%) next is South East Asia (25.7%) and the collective members of the European Union (20%).
Why is aquaculture the last hope?
The world has advance because of agriculture. We all know that farming requires a lot of land in order to grow the commodities. However, the current trend nowadays arable land has been smaller and smaller because it competes with housing projects, business, forested areas and many more. In which farmers are challenge to produce more with a little amount of land. Certain commodities are genetically modified, heavy applications of pesticides, fungicides just too make sure a good amount of produce. Is this good? Well, it is not good most of health problems are caused by what we eat. With all this toxins sprayed among these commodities it will really cause a biological magnification us.
Aquaculture is challenge with the global demand of food is rising each year. As of 2017, we are around 7.5 billion people around the world which pressures farmers to provide food for everyone. Can agriculture provide food for all of us if the population will continually grow? With the current issue worldwide decrease in arable land , can the world survive? With the current demand for food can we provide necessary protein requirement of everyone?
Humans need protein in order to live. Most of farmers raise cattle, pig and chicken as live stock as our source of protein. However, is these animals efficient for feed conversion? There is a lot of waste food in order to produce one kilogram of meat. With the decline of captive fisheries, it stresses the need for aquaculture. The world needs aquaculture for food production.
Why do need to go for intensification?
The global demand for fish protein is 20 kilograms. It pressure fish farms to produce more. A good fish farm should have a good density of fishes but not too many. Which means each person needs 20kg of fish which stresses the need for aquaculture. These numbers will continually grow as the year progresses by. Intensification of fish production will also mean there will be more food for everybody. Since, the demand is high the supply must cope up. Why? If the supply and demand won’t meet the prices will go up and our poor brothers might not eat. In the case of the fish farmers, they should produce more to have more profit since producing less would entitle lesser income. Thus, it will also affect other national economical statistics of our produce.