Aquaculture is the civilisation of aquatic organisms, which includes fish, mollusks, crustaceans, algae and plants. People have been involved in different forms of aquaculture for thousands of years, with early documented prove dating back as far as 500 BC in China (Ling 1977). Today, the practice of aquaculture spans the globe, with the exception of the farthermost polar regions. Many of the basic goals have not changed significantly, however their methods of achievement have. In that location are two overarching goals of aquaculture: maximizing growth rate and minimizing production costs. A rapid growth charge per unit minimizes the fourth dimension to achieve a marketable size and decreases risk. The reduction of production costs makes an operation assisting. To accomplish this, there are a number of strategies, all of which are typically utilized to some extent. These strategies include: maximizing food conversion, and reducing h2o, ability, processing and storage costs.

Food is critical to aquaculture because it usually constitutes over l% of product costs, and besides considering information technology provides the energy inputs necessary to reach maximal growth. In aquaculture, feeds range from alive to formulated diets, and are often inverse as species develop and mature. For instance, equally a larval fish hatches from an egg, the immediate source of energy is derived from maternal stores in the fastened yolk sac. This energy source is rapidly exhausted, and the developing fish must transition to
foods. Further, the capacity to shop nutrient in the alimentary canal at this phase is express. As a result, the greatest mortality generally occurs during this critical stage. For the aquaculturalist, this means that there needs to be continuously available sources of food to prevent starvation and promote rapid growth. Food must be readily accepted and easily digestible. As a outcome, live or loftier poly peptide diets are ofttimes initially utilized, although fish are transitioned to a toll-effective formulated diet as soon equally possible due to ease of feeding, and better food consistency, availability and storage. Formulated diets are fabricated of natural products, such equally fish meal, soybean meal, and corn meal, and will as well include a complement of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Due to toll and the need to reduce the environmental footprint of aquaculture, the corporeality of fish meal is reduced every bit much every bit possible every bit the fish grow, and replaced with alternative protein sources, such every bit soybean meal. Every species has specific nutritional requirements, and the nutrition that is administered needs to come across minimum levels of these requirements (i.e., poly peptide, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) and have high digestibility to ensure maximum growth rates.

After food, water is obviously at the heart of aquaculture, and questions such every bit the quality and quantity of the source that will be used are integral to the success of an operation. Fundamental parameters necessary to the survival of most species are dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, hardness, ammonia, nitrite and pH. The goals of most operations are to maintain these water quality variables within ranges that will ensure maximal growth, while reducing water use, and minimizing effluent. The diet type ofttimes plays straight into h2o quality, considering uneaten nutrient, and food that is not highly digestible, result in nutrient inputs into the water. These nutrient inputs can fertilize the water surrounding the fish and the resulting effluent from the operation. Microbes, phytoplankton and plants can be stimulated by the nutrient inputs, and may result in poor water quality, with the amount of nutrients in
directly related to h2o retention time and hydraulic turnover rate (Tucker
et al.
2005). Therefore, water quality is directly related to the intensity and type of aquaculture organization existence utilized.

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There are a number of different types of aquaculture systems. In general, aquaculture can be divided into extensive or intensive product. Extensive aquaculture provides picayune control over the surround of the cultured organism, with cultured organisms subjected to limitations of natural nutrient sources and environmental conditions. Examples of extensive aquaculture are oyster farming by spreading oyster shells along a region of shoreline. In contrast, intensive aquaculture is highly controlled, with many conditions such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, and diet maintained within specific desired levels. An example of intensive aquaculture would be a recirculating system or raceway system for tilapia fed a complete nutrition. Within the parameters of extensive and intensive, at that place are a number of different systems utilized for aquaculture. Some of the main categories of systems are earthen ponds, raceways, cages, net pens, and recirculating systems. There are a variety of different types of designs inside each of these categories, which are limited by the species nether culture and the inventiveness of the system designer.

I example of a common type of aquaculture system utilized effectually the earth, are earthen ponds (Figure 1). Ponds are relatively simple to construct, and have the benefit of low nutrient input into effluent due to long h2o retentiveness times and food absorption past sediment. However, these systems are subject to erosion and upkeep. In contrast, cages and cyberspace pens, which can be placed into existing water bodies, may have much higher nutrient inputs to their firsthand environs, which can be starting time by choosing a location with sufficient current to minimize compounding furnishings in i area. Maintaining muzzle or pen integrity tin be difficult and expensive. An old system which is receiving new attending is aquaponics. Aquaponics combines a recirculating system with a
arrangement, in which effluent is utilized to grow plants. The plants utilize the nutrient rich water, and by removing nutrients, better the water quality for the fish. Both the fish and the plants can then be sold profitably. This technology is still developing, although progress has been rapid. A similar type of system for earthen ponds is known equally a partitioned aquaculture system. These systems divide a swimming into ii portions, with a partition in between. Paddlewheels keep water circulating from the fish side to the non-fish side.
in the non-fish side utilize the nitrogenous wastes and phosphorus while producing lots of oxygen that can exist utilized past the fish. The effect is that much higher densities and total numbers of fish tin exist produced than if fish were stocked into the total area of both pond portions. Current enquiry is focused on understanding the processes involved and the appropriate stocking densities.

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Figure ane

Earthen aquaculture production ponds with aerators to maintain dissolved oxygen concentrations.

As an instance of aquaculture, the US catfish industry is the largest producer of whatsoever species group in the United states (Figure 2). Earthen ponds roughly a meter deep, which are fed by well-water or surface water provide the culture surround, and refinement and comeback of production processes are continuously being implemented. One example is through the culture of hybrid catfish. Hybrid catfish are produced by crossing a female person channel catfish with a male blue catfish. The offspring benefit from the fast growth rate of aqueduct catfish and the greater illness resistance of the bluish catfish. Currently, the US catfish industry has been challenged by a number of issues, including plateaued product prices, increased product costs, international contest and economic recession. US market prices for catfish accept remained relatively stable for the concluding twenty years (USDA 2010), while production costs, such as fuel, have steadily increased. Corn, soybean and grain costs, which are primary ingredients in catfish feeds, have also seen recent increases in costs, as well resulting in reduced profitability. International competition has come in the form of tilapia (family unit Cichlidae) and catfishes mainly from the family Pangasiidae. Other examples of aquaculture, that demonstrate some of the variety of species under culture, include the culture of behemothic freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii; Figure 3), the culture of ruby-red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii; Figure 4), and recently, the culture of algae for

The channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus

Figure 2

The channel catfish
Ictalurus punctatus
manufacture: Swimming harvesting techniques.

Cultured giant freshwater prawns

Figure 3

Cultured giant freshwater prawns
Macrobrachium rosenbergii.

Cultured red swamp crayfish

Figure 4

Cultured reddish swamp crayfish
Procambarus clarkii.

One of the appeals of aquaculture, both equally a profitable business, and as a subsistence provider of protein for human being populations, is in the efficient growth of fish. Unlike major terrestrial species under civilisation, with few exceptions, fishes practice not
thermoregulate, and after consuming food, they mostly remain relatively inactive during digestion. Further, due to the specific gravity of water, they tin maintain buoyancy relatively easily with an internal air bladder, meaning that they don’t expend energy on heavy support structures. All of this equates to free energy savings, which provides more than available energy for growth, resulting in the highest feed conversion efficiency of widely domesticated animals.

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Globally and in the USA, the per capita demand for seafood is increasing. In the The states, demand for seafood has exceeded domestic supply, resulting in a 9.6 billion dollar trade deficit (FAO 2010). While the electric current state of the economic system has restricted the growth of aquaculture, the long-term outlook is quite practiced. Similarly, the worldwide outlook for aquaculture is very favorable. Increasing human populations combined with express natural resource in freshwater and the world’south oceans, which are currently well-nigh maximum harvest yields (Hilborn
et al.
2003), mean that the demand for seafood must exist met by aquaculture. In recent years, global aquaculture production has increased to the point where it exceeds 50% of commercial capture fishery production (FAO 2010).

Futurity directions for aquaculture involve the refinement of electric current techniques, such equally through the employ of hybrid catfish and partitioned systems in the catfish industry. Further, recirculating systems and aquaponic systems are likely to grow in production and technological advances. These systems facilitate aquaculture almost anywhere, including the culture of marine species at locations far from the declension. This means a fresher and more than environmentally friendly product, with less fossil fuels and expense in ship, packaging and storage, too as the entreatment of a locally-grown product. Farther, water quality can exist maintained inside strict standards, and specific size requirements desired by consumers can be reliably produced. Ii other forms of aquaculture that are likely to grow in the future, are marine off-shore aquaculture, and culture of species for the aquarium and pet-merchandise manufacture. In terms of marine aquaculture, offshore areas offer swell potential for culturing species due to a lack of space restrictions, good h2o quality, and the ability to civilization species that are in great demand. In terms of the aquarium industry, culture techniques for new species are continuously being investigated and refined. Further, aquaculture production reduces pressures on natural stocks, and environmentally unsustainable methods of capture. Finally, aquaculture is a world issue. Developing and developed nations will both benefit from an increased realization of the potential for aquaculture, besides as the demand for protein derived from aquaculture in the face of continuing population growth.

Images courtesy of J. A. Steeby.