What Is Aquaculture?
Our students have the unique opportunity to be a part of the exciting and expanding field of aquaculture. What is aquaculture? Aquaculture, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, is “the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated...”
Why is aquaculture so important? The following statistics should help explain:
- Demand continues to grow as more Americans seek the health benefits of eating seafood.
- The United States may need to import as much as 4 million tons of seafood by 2025, based on demand and population growth projections.
- A 2009 study made by Stanford University, 50% of the world’s aquatic organisms consumed are farmed products.
- Fully 70% of the world’s conventional commercial species are now fully exploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion.
- Growing demand for seafood creates an enormous opportunity for economic growth and new jobs in the U.S. aquaculture industry.
- Green technologies need to be developed to make aquaculture production more environmentally friendly.
These statistics clearly indicate the need for a properly trained work force. The Aquaculture Center’s curriculum is designed to help students begin this process.