Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Aquaculture

  • Robert R. Stickney
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_9-2

Definition and History

Aquaculture can be most simply defined as underwater agriculture. It is the rearing of aquatic plants and animals through some type of intervention by humans. Aquaculture is conducted in freshwater and saltwater. The term mariculture is often used in relation to marine aquaculture. Aquaculture involves plants and animals produced for human food, as ornamentals, for bait, and in recent years, as sources of nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals. Some plants and animals are also grown as foods for other aquaculture species. For example, shrimp hatcheries typically grow one or more species of algae to feed brine shrimp (Artemia salina), which are fed upon by larval shrimp.

While there is some production of rooted aquatic plants,echinoderms (e.g., sea cucumbers), tunicates (e.g., sea squirts), amphibians (frogs), and reptiles (turtles and alligators), the majority of the world’s aquaculture production comes from seaweeds, molluscs (e.g., abalone, clams, oysters,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Sea Grant College ProgramCollege StationUSA