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What is Aquaculture? Do You Know Where Your Fish Comes From?

India practices two kinds of aquaculture. It forms a significant portion of the total agricultural exports of India.

Shipra Singh
Aquaculture in India
Aquaculture in India

Do you love to eat fish? Ever wondered where does it come from? The sea or ocean, you may say. Wrong! Ok, rivers and lakes, you might guess. Wrong again! Most of the fish you eat comes from fish farms.

Do you know fish and its products form the biggest group of India’s agricultural export? It amounts to 10.5 lakh tonnes in volume and is worth around 33,442 crores. India exports over 50 kinds of fish and shellfish items to 75 nations of the world. This amounts to about 10% of the country’s total exports and around 20% of the total agricultural exports.

Kinds of aquaculture in India

India practices two kinds of aquaculture:

  1. Fresh water aquaculture

  2. Brackish water aquaculture

Freshwater Aquaculture

In this kind of aquaculture, freshwater fish is bred. They include rohu, catla, carp, freshwater pear culture, freshwater prawn, and ornamental farming of fish. In Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, growing of catla in reservoirs and tanks is popular.

Brackish Water Aquaculture

In this kind of aquaculture, sea water fish is bred. They include tiger shrimp, grey mullet, mud crabs, and sea bass. This kind of aquaculture is popular in Goa, Kerala, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh. The typical fish feed used in this case is a mix of rice bran, buffalo meat, mussel meat, clam meat, local snail, and oil cakes.

Understanding Aquaculture

Aquaculture is also called aquafarming. This field involves the breeding of fish, mollusks, crustaceans (which include crabs, lobsters, prawns, shrimps, crayfish, and others), algae, and aquatic plants (usually called hydrophytes).  This is basically the cultivation of saltwater and freshwater organisms under regulated conditions.

Oyster and shellfish farm
Oyster and shellfish farm

Aquaculture is different from commercial fishing, as the latter involves wild fish harvesting.

Mariculture, also called marine farming, is aquaculture performed in marine climate and underwater environment. This is different from freshwater farming, as this is done in rivers, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

FAO viewpoint

According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), aquaculture is one industry that is directly influenced by climate change. The industry may get positive and negative impact. Pollution and disease transmission are a couple of examples of the negative affects of global climate change on marine life.

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