• the cultivation of aquatic organisms.
  • aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, implies the cultivation of aquatic populations under controlled conditions.
  • Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments.
  • Particular kinds of aquaculture include agriculture (the production of kelp, seaweed, and other algae), fish farming, shrimp farming, shellfish farming, and growing of cultured pearls.

Growth and Development of Aquaculture

  • has been used in China since circa 2500 BC.
  • practice of aquaculture gained prevalence in Europe during theMiddle Ages since fish were scarce and thus expensive.
  • Americans were rarely involved in aquaculture until the late 20th century but California residents harvested wild kelp and made legal efforts to manage the supply starting circa 1900, later even producing it as a wartime resource.
  • the rise of aquaculture is a contemporary phenomenon.


Types of Aquaculture 1. Algaculture

  • A form of aquaculture involving the farming of species of algae.
  • Majority of algae are intentionally cultivated fall into the category of microalgae, also referred to as phytoplankton, microphytes, or planktonic algae.
  • Macro algae, commonly known as seaweed, also have many commercial and industrial uses, but due to their size and the specific requirements of the environment in which they need to grow, they do not lend themselves as readily to cultivation on a large scale as microalgae and are most often harvested wild from the ocean.


  1. Fish Farming
  • The principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture.
  • Involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food.
  • Fish species raised by fish farms include salmon, catfish, tilapia, cod, carp, trout, and others.
  • Increasing demands on wild fisheries by commercial fishing operations have caused widespread overfishing.
  • Offers an alternative solution to the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein.


  1. Freshwater Prawn Farming
  • An aquaculture business designed to raise and produce freshwater prawn or shrimp for human consumption.
  • Shares many characteristics with, and many of the same problems as, marine shrimp farming.
  • Unique problems are introduced by the development life cycle of the main species (the giant river prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergiz).
  1. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
  • A practice in which the by- products (wastes) from one species are recycled to become inputs ( fertilisers, food) for another.
  • Fed aquaculture (e.g. fish, shrimp) is combined with inorganic extractive (e.g. seaweed) and organic extractive (e.g. shellfish) aquaculture to create balanced systems for environmental sustainability (biomitigation), economic stability (product diversification and risk reduction), and social acceptability (better management practices).
  1. Mariculture
  • a specialised branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater.
  • the farming of marine fish, prawns, or oysters in saltwater ponds.
  • Non-food products produced by mariculture include fish meal, nutrient agar, jewelleries ( e.g. cultured pearls), and cosmetics.


  1. Shrimp Farming
  • an aquaculture for the cultivation of marine shrimp for human consumption.
  • Commercial shrimp farming began in the 1970s, and production grew steeply, particularly to match the market demands of the US, Japan, and Western Europe.
  • About 75°/o of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia, in particular in China and Thailand.
  • The other 25% is produced mainly in Latin America, where Brazil is the largest producer.
  • The largest exporting nation is Thailand.
  • Shrimp farming on modern lines is being done in Andhra Pradesh (Nellore District), a state of India (see Blue Revolution)

Strategies for the Fisheries Development

  • Under the Jawahar Rozgar Yojna, village panchayats have been authorised to carry out fisheries development programmes in respective villages.
  • Under the programme of Development of Model Fishermen Villages, basic civic amenities such as housing, drinking water and construction of community halls for fishermen villages are provided.
  • Brackish Fish Farmers Development Agencies (BFDA) functioning in the coastal areas of the country is providing a package of technical, financial and extension support to shrimp farmers.
  • Insurance facilities have been extended to fishermen for the insurance and security of their life.
  • The government is collecting data on the micro-climates of various water bodies to promote fisheries in the country.

Problems and Prospects

  1. Most of the fishermen are poor. They are not able to purchase good equipment to improve the harvest of fish.
  2. The water bodies (rivers, lakes, ponds, and coastal areas of the seas) are increasingly polluted.
  3. The area of paddy fields in which fisheries used to be kept is also decreasing under the impact of fast growth of population, industrialisation, and urbanisation.
  4. Adequate information about the environment of water-bodies (ponds, lakes, rivers, and sea is not available).
  5. Unpredictable nature of monsoon as a result of which the inland fisheries suffer adversely.
  6. Problem of marketing, storage, and transportation.
  7. Inadequacy of research and extension service facilities.
  8. There is need of Pink Revolution (Prawns) in the coastal regions of the country.



  • the adoption of a package programme to increase the production of fish and marine products.
  • started in 1970 during the Fifth Five-Year Plan when the Central Government sponsored the Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA).
  • Subsequently, the Brakish Water Fish Farms Development Agency were set up to develop aquaculture.
  • brought improvement in aquaculture by adopting new techniques of fish breeding, fish rearing, fish marketing, and fish export.
  • tremendous increase in the production of shrimp. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have developed shrimp in a big way.
  • The Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh is known as the ‘Shrimp Capital of India’.
  • There are more than 1800 species of fish found in the sea and inland waters of India, of which a very few are commercially important.
  • important sea fish include catfish, herring, mackerels, perches, mullets, Indian salmon, shell fish, eels, anchovies, and dorab.
  • the main fresh water fish include catfish, loaches, perches, eels, herrings, feather backs, mullets, carps, prawns, murrels, and anchovies.
  • Marine fisheries contribute about 50 per cent of the total fish production of the country.
  • Kerala is the leading producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Goa.
  • The fishing season extends from September to March.
  • The higher fish production in the Arabian Sea is due to the broader continental shelf.
  • The important fish varieties include sardines, mackerel and prawn.
  • The East Coast contributes about 28 per cent of the total production of marine fish in the country.
  • The fishing activity along the East coast is mainly carried on from Rameswaram in the south to Ganjam in the north, with fishing season from September to April along the Coromandal Coast.
  • The National Fisheries Development Board has been set up to realize the untapped potential of fishery sector with the application of modern tools of research and development including biotechnology.
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