Seafood for the futureDue January 9th, 2018Charlie LambertENVI-SCI B Block Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic animals or the growing of aquatic plants for food.
Aquaculture has been practiced for thousands of years and dates all the way back to 2000 B.C. A man named S. Y. Lin from is the first recorded Aquaculturist.
The fish that he grew were the common carp. When he held the carp in captivity they bred and there were mutations in the DNA of the carp. This caused the fishes scales to turn a yellow, orange, and white, that is how the first forms of Koi and Goldfish came to be. Aquaculture takes a huge role in the food business today. Approximately 50 percent of the fish consumed comes from fish farms.
Think about that, for every ten meals of fish you eat five servings of that fish are raised in pens among thousands of other fish that are fed by humans and machines. Multiple types of saltwater and freshwater organisms are grown using aquaculture. An example of some organisms that include Oysters, Clams, Trout, Salmon, Tilapia and more. There are a couple different forms of aquaculture, there is land based aquaculture and natural waters aquaculture.
Land based aquaculture is when they grow organisms in tanks or pens. Native water aquaculture is when they grow the organisms in the wild but still keep them in pens. Aquaculture is the food production of the future. Farming fish is more feasible for the environment and for the government. The technology of being able to raise fish in an enclosed area is key. The benefits of keeping the fish in a pen is that they can be monitored easily and the fish can be fed in mass. Commercial fishing takes more time and labor than Aquaculture. On average Salmon take around 3-5 years to grow to the prime size to eat.
On a fish farm where the Salmon are grown from an egg it takes around a 1- 1 ½ years for the Salmon to be ready for harvest. What is really unique about aquaculture? Aquaculture is growing more and more by the month. Soon commercial fishing will be a thing of the past and will be considered unconventional.
Right now the U.S marine aquaculture industry is valued at 200 million. The exponential growth of aquaculture growing soon almost all of the seafood that is served in restaurants, homes, and other places will be products of aquaculture. Aquaculture is typically conducted in pens that sit in the ocean or natural body of water when it comes to fish, shrimp, oysters and clams. More recently the fish and shellfish are being grown on land in tanks and pens. Growing fish on land doesn’t require as much work as it would be growing them in pens in their natural habitat because the aqua farmers can control the climate, make sure that none of the fish escape and contaminate the wild population of such species, and prevent parasites and diseases.
The demand for seafood is constantly rising, there is a supply and a demand. There is only so much seafood that can be distributed to consumers. The main problem with the supply and demand is healthy youth in the hatcheries. Addressing these problems is key for the future of aquaculture. What can solve these problems is the new hatchery technology. There are several ways that optimize hatchery production. One way focuses on water supply and treatment systems. Having a constant flow of clean water is critical.
“Nutrition and feeding are also important to larval health management and management for bacteria and disease control. Finally, closing the life-cycle and overcoming challenges in hatchery production for selected invertebrate species.” Such as spiny lobsters, shrimp, blue mussel, and sea cucumbers, is important to continued success of aquaculture. Scientists and marine conservers are all focussed on addressing the problems of the hatchery.”A Salmon farm is likely to hold 500,000 to 750,000 fish in an area the size of four football fields. The biomass of farmed Salmon at one farm site can equal 480 Indian bull elephants – that is 2,400 tonnes of eating, excreting livestock.” Salmon are carnivores, they have to get their proteins and other nutrients from meat.
Usually in the wild the Salmon would eat other fish but because of the number of fish in the Salmon farm they cannot feed them fish. Instead of feeding the Salmon fish they feed them pellets that contain all of the nutrients that the Salmon need and the pellets are more feasible than the fish that they eat in the wild. “In British Columbia alone there are approximately 136 Salmon farm licenses with over 85 farms active at any given time. Canada and Chile are the two primary sources of farmed Salmon for American consumers. Two-thirds of the Salmon consumed by Americans is farm-raised. The government and industry would like to see BC farmed Salmon production double within the next 10 years — that means twice the toll on our oceans, wild fish and coastal livelihoods.”SeaFood has always suggested to stay away from the farmed fish and shellfish.
Farmed seafood got a bad rep to start, everyone thought that farmed seafood meant growth hormones and steroids so that it makes the seafood grow faster. That was not the case though, the seafood was fed a man made pellet or powder that consists of everything that the seafood needs to survive. “But three indoor farms around the world have succeeded in eliminating the usual concerns about fish farming. At these farms, there’s no risk of escapees mating with wild populations. There’s no risk of fish waste messing up the marine environment.
There’s a vastly reduced risk of disease. Each of these farms recycles more than 95% of its water, and they use a smaller number of feed fish to grow their Salmon than traditional farms.”One of the main problems on Salmon farms are Sea Lice. Sea lice are aquatic parasites that live off of multiples species of fish. That group of species include Salmon. “Sea lice are planktonic and are transported on the tide.
When they encounter marine fish they attach themselves, usually on the skin, fins and/or gills and feed off the mucous or skin.”Aquaponics and aquaculture combined makes a thing of wonders. This is mostly used in the northern hemisphere. It is a combination of vertical agriculture and aquaculture, they take long square pipes with a slit down the middle and pack in seedlings and dirt and hang it from the ceiling of the greenhouse.
Specifically they hang it so that it faces the sun in the winter, the long pipes hang down into a fish pen full of tilapia, carp or other species of fish. The farmers feed the fish a specific pellet so that when the fish poop it secretes the nutrients that the plants need to live. The plants absorb the nutrients from the water, once the plants and fish are full grown/ripe they can sell both and then repeat the process. It is mostly quick growing plants that don’t get big like herbs and spices.”Farmed shrimp accounts for 55 percent of the shrimp produced globally. Most shrimp aquaculture occurs in China, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador and Bangladesh, and it has generated substantial income in these developing countries.” Aquaculture has made shrimp easier to get, because of the excess of shrim the price as gone down making it a more popular food in developing countries. “Investors seeking profits have intensified farming methods with industrialized processes, sometimes at significant cost to the environment.
“”Since the beginning of the 21st century aquaculture has gained momentum as a viable method for producing seafood due to overfishing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the leading agency on aquaculture, has dedicated federal guidance and financial aid to states in order to develop aquaculture regulation, policy, and physical systems. Officially, NOAA defines aquaculture as the propagation and rearing of aquatic organisms in controlled or selected aquatic environments for any commercial, recreational, or public purpose.”Aquaculture is the future of seafood. It is the most feasible, both economically and practically.
Aquaculture also benefits the environment. The native populations of fish will start to replenish due to the decrease of commercial fishing to harvest for food. There are less chances of the marine organism getting a disease or parasite. There was a survey done asking consumers which fish they thought was better not knowing which was which, 95% of the people thought the better fish was the farmed fish. Aquaculture will continue to grow throughout the future and cement a spot for the main way seafood is grown.