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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetics, Physiology, and Health Research to Improve Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Aquaculture: Challenges and promise

Authors
item Allen, Peter -
item Steeby, J -

Submitted to: Nature Education
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2011
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Allen, P.J., Steeby, J.A. 2012. Aquaculture: Challenges and promise. Nature Education. 2(11):12.

Interpretive Summary: This paper provides a brief overview of the principles of aquaculture and describes the challenges that the aquaculture industry faces in the US. It also describes current trends in aquaculture and potential future directions for the industry. Examples are provided from the catfish industry in the southern US, and new aquaculture directions include aquaponics, the culture of aquarium fishes, and other promising possibilities.

Technical Abstract: Aquaculture is the culture 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 evidence dating back as far as 500 BC in China (Ling 1977). Today, the practice of aquaculture spans the globe, with the exception of the extreme polar regions. Many of the basic goals have not changed significantly, however their methods of achievement have. There are two overarching goals of aquaculture: maximizing growth rate and minimizing production costs. A rapid growth rate minimizes the time to achieve a marketable size and decreases risk. The reduction of production costs makes an operation profitable. 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 water, power, processing and storage costs.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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