Aquaculture, commonly known as aqua farming, is a type of farming which involves growing aquatic organisms like crustaceans, molluscs aquatic plants and fish.
It has two types, freshwater aquaculture and salt-water aquaculture. With the ever increasing demand of fish and increased fish catching activities, sea is facing shortage of fish and cannot fulfil this much demand.
There arose a need to find alternative sources of fish and aquaculture came into being. It increased the production and supply and helped a lot in fulfilling the demand of not only marine water fish but also of freshwater fish and even shell fish. The organisms are grown indoors in controlled conditions and temperature.
Fish is a rich source of vitamins and fish oil is suggested by many physicians for the patients of aching bones.
Due to increased production in aquaculture, the dietary requirements of people have also been taken care of. Fish contains a lot of essential minerals, proteins ad micro-nutrients that cannot be found in other kinds of meat all at once.
Also fish has the lowest fat percentage as compared to other meats. Before aqua culturing, fish was very costly but now, as the production has increased, it has become very affordable and is within the budget of common person. In cold areas of the world, people prefer fish over other meats as it is easily available there.
Freshwater aquaculture has also improved economies of many areas by providing new job opportunities. The fish produced there is mostly used by industries for processing which is then made available as canned food item.
Due to stagnation in wild fish harvesting, many fishermen have moved to aquaculture farming and are earning more than before. Besides social benefits, aquaculture also has many environmental befits as well.
The pressure on wild fish has decreased immensely which was a hot debate for many years that this must be done to save water life. Big species in water pray on small fish and by taking out fish from the sea, humans are endangering their existence.
A lot of fisheries around the world have already reached at unsustainable level due to excessive fishing. The aquaculture sector can put down this pressure on wild fish stocks but there is a need to create enough market demand against that of wild fish.
The older fishing methods were harmful for eco life of water. Some of the traditional techniques resulted in the death of untargeted species also and made the water unsafe for growth of species. Aquaculture is eco safe farming technique that does not harm the eco system.
The controlled environment ensures that the environment remains pollution free. Many governments are promoting aquaculture to reduce the abuses of traditional fishing.
For aquaculture farming one has to get a proper license before commencing the production. The license is easily available as part of the promotional policies of the governments.
Moreover some governments are also providing guidance to the new farmers. There are also some institutes working to teach the aquaculture farming as a subject.