What Is Mari Culture

seawater, sea, important, salt, types, system, plants, marine, human

It is the growing of aquatic plants and animals in saline water that is known as mariculture. As a result, mariculture is considered a part of the wider discipline of aquaculture, which encompasses the rearing of both freshwater and marine species in a controlled environment. Seaweeds, mollusks, crustaceans, and finfish are the four principal groups of species used in marine agriculture. In recent years, it has been estimated that the total amount of seafood (including freshwater species and aquatic plants) consumed worldwide is around 140 million metric tons per year.

Only 2 percent of the total is made up of marine fish.

Seaweeds (brown, red, and green) are a close second in terms of popularity.

In many regions of the globe, dried seaweeds are used as a source of nutrition for humans.

Despite the fact that shrimp farming has grown into a major business in Asia and Latin America since the early 1980s, global output of shrimp is still considerably less than that of mollusks and seaweeds combined.

Atlantic salmon, milkfish, sea bream, sea bass, red drum, yellowtail, striped bass, and hybrid striped bass are some of the most popular finfish species in the world.

Country Species Produced
China mollusks, shrimp
Japan algae, mollusks, yellowtail, sea bream
Taiwan mollusks, shrimp, eels
Philippines algae, shrimp, milkfish
United States mollusks, shrimp, Atlantic salmon, red drum
Norway salmon
Ecuador shrimp
Republic of Korea algae, mollusks
Indonesia algae, shrimp, milkfish

Types of Operations

There are many levels of technology involved in mariculture, with the lowest level of technology relying heavily on nature to produce the crop. The culturist may assist in the preparation of the growing area, but he or she does nothing else. Oyster culturists, for example, may deposit old shells on the bottom of their tanks in order to offer locations for a new generation of oysters to attach. They feed on natural phytoplankton and are harvested after they have reached the appropriate size for the environment.

In addition, mussels and scallops may be cultivated on ropes beneath rafts.

However, even though it accounts for a minor proportion of the province’s mollusc output, this species is commercially significant to local producers.


Shrimp and several types of marine fish are frequently raised in ponds, as are other aquatic plants. In most situations, juvenile shrimp and fish are raised in hatcheries, while the harvesting of young animals from nature has been done in the past and is still done in rare cases. A combination of pumping water and tides may be used to fill the ponds with seawater (the farmer opens the floodgate when the tide is rising and closes it when the pond is full).

The time it takes for animals to reach market size varies depending on the species being raised and the size of the herd at the time of stocking. It can take anything from a few months to nearly two years.

Pens and Cages.

As an alternative to ponds, marine fish are often bred in floating pens or cages in sheltered bays. Most farmed salmon are produced in these sorts of facilities, particularly in Norway, Canada, the United States, Scotland, and Chile. Various additional fish species are also being raised in pens and cages in Japan, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as other parts of the world. During the past several years, there has been increased interest, but only a limited amount of action, in the field of cage culture in offshore seas.

Indoor Facilities.

When it comes to indoor facilities, the most advanced technology is related with raceways or tanks (circular raceways) in which animals are raised in raceways or tanks that receive pumped seawater that may be obtained directly from the ocean. A complex water treatment system may either recirculate, that is, reuse, the water after it has passed through the tanks, or it can be dumped after passing through the tanks. In such facilities, marine species can be raised to market size, although they are most typically utilized as hatcheries and as a holding facility for broodstock (adults used for reproduction).


Many desirable species are being successfully raised by mariculturists, but numerous others that are not yet commercially viable have not yet been effectively raised. This lack of commercial manufacturing is due to the fact that their life cycles are either too short or too long. Reduced-technology varieties of mariculture make use of the ocean’s nutrients as well as its other physical and chemical properties to maximize yields. On a plantation in East Africa, this laborer is responsible for the cultivation of seaweed.

  • During the low tide period of each day, hours are spent preparing, planting, and harvesting the seaweed.
  • Furthermore, a number of common food species are known to be cannibalistic in nature.
  • Since the 1980s, there has been an increase in opposition to mariculture in a number of nations.
  • In an effort to solve these and a number of other difficulties that have been identified, scientists are working on solutions.
  • Despite the fact that world fish production from catch fisheries reached a plateau in the 1990s, the demand for seafood has continued to rise.
  • Scientists predict that natural output from the ocean will not rise in the foreseeable future; as a result, in order to meet human demand for seafood in the future, both mariculture and fresh-water aquaculture production will have to expand dramatically.

Robert R. Stickney is a writer and editor based in New York City.


Avault, James W., Jr., Fundamentals of Aquaculture (Fundamentals of Aquaculture). AVA Publishing, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1996. Stickney, Robert R., “Principles of Aquaculture,” in Principles of Aquaculture, edited by Robert R. Stickney. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1994. *A photograph of a floating net pen may be seen under the heading “Aquaculture.”


In a regulated saltwater setting, mariculture refers to the cultivation and harvesting of marineflora and fauna for human use. Mariculture, also known as marine fish farming, marine aquaculture, or aquatic farming, is a type of aquaculture that incorporates some level of human intervention in order to improve the quality and/or quantity of a fish harvest. This may be accomplished by feeding techniques, predator protection, breeding initiatives, or other methods. In addition, farm-raised fish and crustaceans as well as saltwater plants and shellfish can be used for bait as well as for scientific study, the development of new biotechnologies, and the reintroduction of vulnerable or endangered species.

  1. The production of marine life for human consumption, on the other hand, is the most widely practiced use of aquaculture.
  2. Worldwide, according to the Fisheries Department of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 33 million metric tons of fish and shellfish are cultured (or farmed), generating an estimated $49 billion in 1999.
  3. China is the world’s leader in aquaculture production, accounting for 32.5 percent of global output pound for pound.
  4. Aquaculture accounts for just 7 percent of overall aquatic production in the United States (including both farmed and captured resources), compared to 62 percent of total aquatic output in China (see Figure 1).
  5. Despite the fact that the vast majority of farmed seafood is consumed domestically, the United States imports more than half of its total edible seafood on a yearly basis, resulting in a $7 billion trade imbalance in 2001.
  6. According to the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture of the United States Congress, aquaculture interests in the United States collected 842 million pounds of product in 1999, with an estimated value of $987 million.

As part of its mandate to develop a national aquaculture plan, the Act established funding and mandated the development of an aquaculture plan that would encourage “aquaculture activities and programs in both the public and private sectors of the economy; that will result in an increase in aquacultural production, the coordination of domestic aquaculture efforts, the conservationand enhancement of aquatic resources, the development of new industries and job opportunities, and other national benefits.” Aquariaculture is controlled in the United States by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Commerce (DoC) through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (NOAA).

If mariculture facilities are located inside an area managed by a Coastal Zone Management Plan, state and municipal governments may also be able to have some influence over the placement and activities of the facilities in question (CZMP).

Further modifications to the CZMA have made it possible for states to be eligible for federal assistance in developing state plans, processes, and regulations for mariculture operations in the coastal zone as a result of subsequent changes to the Act.

In addition to crawfish, shrimp, and shellfish, the United States cultivates other aquatic organisms.

Spatula shellfish are purchased by shellfish farmers from shellfish hatcheries and nurseries, which are known as “spat.” Shellfish such as oysters and mussels are linked to lines or nets and placed in a controlled ocean habitat, while clams are buried in the sand or in a sandy substrate beneath the low tide line.

  1. However, much as overfarming has a negative impact on terrestrial natural resources, aquaculture without proper environmental management may have a negative impact on native ecosystems as well.
  2. Due to the fact that vast numbers of farmed fish are sometimes kept in tight spaces, illness may spread readily and quickly among the fish.
  3. Organic pollution from effluent, which is made up of waste products from farmed fish, can accumulate on the seafloor under farming cages and smother marine life.
  4. It also contains surplus fish food, which is typically dyed to make farmed fish flesh more cosmetically similar to that of wild counterparts.
  5. Exodus of farmed fish from their enclosures results in interbreeding with wild fish, resulting in a weakening of the genetic line of the local stock.
  6. Infectious SalmonAnemia, a viral illness that has been plaguing fish farms in New Brunswick and Scotland during the 1990s, was ultimately discovered in wild salmon populations.
  7. It is the responsibility of the United States Food and Drug Administration to regulate the use of medicines in farmed fish and shellfish intended for human consumption (FDA).

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations also apply to the commercial production of genetically altered (transgenic) farmed fish.

If and when commercial farming of transgenic fish occurs, it will be necessary to rigorously monitor the impact that transgenic fish may have on the survival and reproduction of native species.

This is authorized by the Mitchell Act of 1938, which established the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Some environmentalists, on the other hand, contend that salmon hatcheries may potentially be putting wild salmon at greater risk by competing for local habitat and weakening the genetic line of native species, so exacerbating the already dire situation.

Tiny pelagic fishes like herring, anchovies, and chub, among others, are caught and processed into fish food compounds that are used in high-density carnivorous fish farms.

On average, 1.9 kg of wild fish is required for every kilogram of farmed fish.

The area of mangrove forests has shrunk by 35% in the last twenty years, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Mangrove forests are vital to the ecology because they act as buffer zones between saltwater areas and freshwater/land areas, keeping the environment safe.

A variety of migratorywildlife (birds, fish, and mammals) may be found in and around these places, as well as habitats for some endangered species.

Shrimp aquaculture, in particular, has played a significant influence in the deforestation of mangrove forests.

It is estimated that between 50 percent and 80 percent of mangrove habitats in the Philippines have been converted to ponds, and that between 50 percent and 80 percent of those throughout Southeast Asia have been lost to pond culture.

It necessitates vast numbers of young shrimp, which can deplete natural shrimp stocks, as well as large quantities of shrimp meal to feed them, all of which are expensive.

This can promote eutrophication by pumping organic matter and nutrients into the ponds, resulting in algal blooms and oxygen deprivation in the ponds themselves or even downstream.

The life spans of shrimp ponds are also exceedingly short, often ranging from 5 to 10 years, necessitating their abandonment and the clearing of more mangrove forests to make way for new ponds.

Large swaths of ocean along beaches can be occupied by aquaculture facilities, which can result in commercial and recreational no-fish zones as a result.

Recreational activities such as boating and swimming, as well as the introduction of diseases by domestic or farm animals, can potentially cause disruptions in nursery regions.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Fisheries and aquaculture around the world are in a state of flux. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2000. Public, animal, and environmental aquaculture health issues, Michael L. et al. Public, animal, and environmental aquaculture health issues. The publisher is John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. Paul Olin is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom.


Bruce Barcott and Natalie Fobes have collaborated on this project. “The Troubled Harvest of Aquaculture.” mother’s journal, vol. 26, no. 6, November–December 2001, p. 38 (8). “The Effect of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies,” by Rosamond Naylor and colleagues. – The environment (June 29, 2000).


“Aquaculture Policy, Planning, and Development in the United States.” 16 United States Code 2801. The National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are both federal agencies. Aquaculture. To contact the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, call (508) 999-8157 or send an email to [email protected] The Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center is located at 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, Massachusetts 02747-2300.

Difference Between Aquaculture and Mariculture

Listed underMiscellaneous|Difference Between Aquaculture and Mariculture for your convenience. Aquaculture as opposed to Mariculture Agricultural aquaculture and mariculture are both concerned with the cultivation of aquatic items in regulated environments. Despite the fact that both are concerned with increasing aquatic production, they are distinct in that one is concerned with growing fish products in fresh water while the other is concerned with growing fish products in salt water. Unlike aquaculture, which is associated with freshwater, mariculture is associated with saltwater.

  • Mariculture, on the other hand, refers to a branch of aquaculture.
  • Marine aquaculture, on the other hand, is a specialized subset of aquaculture that is carried out in marine environments.
  • When it comes to the origins of aquaculture and mariculture, the former was the first to be created.
  • When the waters receded after a river flood, the Chinese employed this approach to collect fish and other items.
  • After a while, it evolved into a method of producing fish products in various regions of the world.
  • In 1896, Kokichi Mikimoto, a Japanese scientist, was the first to discover mariculture.

Fish raised in aquaculture include barramundi, black Drum, bluegills, catfish (including cobia and crappie), milkfish (including perch and reddrum), salmon (including reddrum), tilapia (including carp), cod (including codfish), trout (including codfish), prawns (including prawns) and oysters (including prawns and oysters).

  1. When it comes to environmental impact, both aquaculture and mariculture have essentially identical negative consequences.
  2. Another point to keep in mind is that mariculture will be around for a long time since freshwater will be scarce in many parts of the planet in the future, which will benefit the industry.
  3. Whereas aquaculture is associated with freshwater, mariculture is associated with saltwater or ocean water.
  4. Aquaculture is a field of agriculture that encompasses the entire spectrum of fish products.

3. Aquaculture is the farming of saltwater and freshwater creatures such as finfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic plants, amongst other species. Marine aquaculture, on the other hand, is a specialized subset of aquaculture that is carried out in marine environments.

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Definition of MARICULTURE

In recent examples on the WebDecker, it was highlighted that Alaskamaricultureincludes shellfish farming and aquatic plant farming, as well as improvement and restoration efforts, among other things. —Anchorage Daily News, published on June 15, 2021 The ultimate objective of the American Mariculture Association is to support a $100 million mariculture sector by 2038, which many feel is a modest estimate given the rising demand, particularly for seaweeds. An invitation has been sent to Alaskans who are involved in or interested in marine agriculture to become founding members of a club that will develop the expanding business throughout the state.

2021, according to Matt Wyatt of the San Antonio Express-News, on February 25, 2021 In addition, there will be updates on localmariculture, vessel energy efficiency, hybrid technology, management 101, and fishermen’s ergonomics on the program.

—Anchorage Daily News, 3 Nov.

As previously reported by Usa Today Network and Wire Reports (USA TODAY, 9 September 2020), the United Fishermen of Alaska firmly supports legislation that supports the state’s mariculture business and a solid commercial fisheries budget.

Examples of contemporary usage of the word’mariculture’ were compiled automatically from multiple online news sources to represent current usage of the word. It is not the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors that the viewpoints stated in the examples are correct. Please provide comments.

What does mariculture mean?

  1. Mariculture is the term used to describe the aquaculture of fish or other marine animals in seawater. The word “culture” comes from the words “mare” and “culture.”

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  1. Mariculture It is a subset of aquaculture that involves the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds, or raceways that are filled with seawater. Mariculture can be practiced in the ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds, or raceways that are filled with freshwater. For instance, one type of aquaculture is the cultivation of marine fish in saltwater ponds, which can include finfish and shellfish (such as prawns) as well as oysters and seaweed. Products other than food that are generated through mariculture include fish meal, nutritional agar, jewelry, and cosmetics.

How to pronounce mariculture?

  1. Chaldean Numerology is a system of numbers that was developed by the Chaldeans. In Chaldean Numerology, the numerical value of mariculture is 1
  2. In Pythagorean Numerology, the numerical value of mariculture is 1. According to Pythagorean Numerology, the numerical value of mariculture is:6.

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However, despite the fact that the phrases mariculture and aquaculture are sometimes used interchangeably, they truly have distinct meanings. Aquaculture is a broad phrase that refers to the production of plants or animals in water in which the producer has complete control over at least one life stage of the organism. Mariculture, in its most particular form, refers to the production of plants and animals in water in which the producer has control over at least one life stage in saltwater and employs organisms that are typically found in seas and estuaries as a source of nutrition.

  1. When it comes to freshwater and saltwater production, the term aquaculture is sometimes used interchangeably, although the term mariculture is only used in reference to saltwater production.
  2. Salinity levels in mariculture operations can range from as low as 3 parts per thousand to as high as 35 parts per thousand, which is equivalent to full-strength saltwater.
  3. Culture activities in mariculture can be classified as extensive, semi-intensive, or intense, with each level of intensity signifying a corresponding increase in the producer’s control over the culture.
  4. Trap, hold, and harvest the ultimate crop are the responsibilities of the producer.
  5. The nature of the enclosure’s surrounding region has an impact on the water quality and nutrient input.
  6. Semi-intensive aquaculture may entail the use of a pond that has been fertilized prior to stocking in order to increase the natural nutrients that are necessary for food production.
  7. In comparison to vast aquaculture, this sort of aquaculture may produce higher yields, with outputs ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 kg of fish per hectare per year.

Recirculating systems with a high density of stock are excellent examples of intensive cultivation.

Aquaculture in a pond raceway production method is a growing trend.

Water quality parameters, such as temperature, oxygen, ammonia, and nitrite levels, as well as bacterial, viral, and parasite infections, are all issues that both mariculture and aquaculture businesses must deal with on a regular basis.

Sea salt may be used to create disease-free saltwater, but it is frequently prohibitively costly.

Raw saltwater has the potential to bring illnesses and competitors into culture organisms, causing them to fail.

Operation cages may be found in the waters of the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Private companies who are interested in leasing areas of the Gulf of Mexico for the purpose of offshore mariculture have submitted applications to the government for permission.

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Involved in permit request reviews were the Corps of Engineers, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S.

Current efforts are focused on streamlining the procedure for getting leases of seabed in federal seas for the purpose of operating mariculture businesses.

Shellfish mariculture encompasses a wider range of products, including clams, oysters, shrimp, scallops, and crabs, among others.

Poor marketing is one of the most common reasons for failure in any aquaculture or mariculture enterprise.

In light of the fact that wild supplies are depleting and seasonal availability might result in supply shortages that can be filled by a producer who can plan harvests to coincide with periods of shortages, this can be advantageous.

In 2001, global commercial landings decreased by 3 million metric tons, but aquaculture and mariculture climbed by a combined 2.4 million metric tons in the same year.

The average amount of seafood consumed per person in 2002 was 15.6 pounds, an increase of 0.9 pounds from 2001.

This deficit presents a chance for mariculturists to make a profit while producing seafood.

Producers in the United States have limited access to therapeutic remedies that are available in other countries.

In order to overcome the limited number of therapeutic remedies available, mariculturists in the United States must produce a superior product through improved farm management that reduces the likelihood of disease outbreaks.


Oysters, both raw and cooked, are particularly popular throughout the Gulf Coast’s seafood scene. Whether commercial reefs are open or closed depends on the amount of rain that falls each season and other water quality considerations. Farm-raised oysters may be able to escape the environmental issues that have caused wild oyster beds to shut. Single oysters may be cultivated, resulting in a more appealing product for the half-shell market than previously possible. Around the world, oyster farming methods are being used in a variety of ways.

  • Keeping high oyster densities in a tiny, conveniently accessible unit is the goal of each of these operations.
  • This cleaning is required in order to provide food for the oysters and to eliminate garbage.
  • The degree of effort required for cleaning and harvesting, as well as the cost of the systems, varied across them.
  • For example, an adjustable long-line system that works well in shallow water is preferable to a rack system that uses mesh bags that performs better in deeper water.


Because of the numerous preparation methods available for shrimp, it is the most often eaten seafood item. According to the USDA agricultural census conducted in 1998, 42 farms in the United States generated $12 million (4.217 million pounds) in farmed shrimp. Shrimp are also cultivated throughout Central America and Asia, as well as the United States. In addition to commercial catches, domestic producers are in competition with them. Producing a superior product and building brand awareness may be the only alternatives available to local companies in order to remain competitive.

  • Producers in West Alabama have had some success raising shrimp in ponds, according to the USDA.
  • The water for this project comes from old saltwater aquifers in the surrounding region.
  • The production of live bait shrimp has the potential to produce animals of superior grade for sale to bait stores.
  • Predictable harvests may be planned to coincide with the demands of bait store operators, who can then organize their operations accordingly.


The burgeoning industry of finfish mariculture is also a significant component of this expanding sector. Throughout the world, wild catches of major food fishes are leveling off or dropping. The need for these products is rising, and mariculture is being called upon to fill the void. Cobia (ling), salmon, red drum, red snapper, and southern flounder are just a few of the finfish that are harvested. These animals are high-dollar species that are required to balance the expenses of production in order to make a profit.

In order to compete with alternative commodities such as beef, pig, and chicken, as well as foreign items that are not subject to the same quality restrictions as domestic products, domestic producers must provide a superior product to the marketplace.

These culture units make advantage of natural currents to deliver high-quality water and eliminate waste, allowing for the stocking of large numbers of plants in a small space.

Worldwide, this form of culture is being practiced, with a concentration in the Mediterranean area.

Some creatures, such as the cobia and the red drum, may get accustomed to low salinity conditions. Ongoing research is being conducted to assess the feasibility of cultivating this and other marine organisms on land.

Soft-Shelled Crabs

Soft-shelled crabs are considered a delicacy, and their market value is higher than that of their hard-shelled counterparts. The majority of peeler crab enterprises obtain their crabs from commercial crabbing operations and store them for a short period of time while they molt. Despite the fact that these operations do not constitute real mariculture in terms of feeding and development, they are excellent instances of value addition. Cannibalism is a problem that soft-shelled crab businesses must overcome in order to be successful.

Shedding tables with dividers are widely used to segregate crabs during the molting process.

Crabs must be allowed to molt and reabsorb water, but they must not be permitted to begin hardening in order to produce the highest value product.

Reduced calcium concentrations and water drawdown systems may be used to exert greater control over the molting process.

Ornamental Fish

Not all mariculture is devoted to the cultivation of edible fish or shellfish for human consumption. Imports of aquatic ornamentals are expected to reach more than $40 million in 2003, making the aquarium trade a valuable component of the mariculture business. Clown fish and tangs are examples of marine ornamental species that may be found in aquariums. Aquariatrade ornamental shrimp are also cultivated for the ornamental shrimp market. Beautiful species, like as the fire shrimp, have been created for the enjoyment of aquarium enthusiasts.

Consumers purchase them for their entertainment value rather than for their nutritional value.

Because of the recovery of the economy, people are more ready to spend money on high-end products such as aquaria fish.


In the maritime industry, not all fish and shellfish are raised for consumption as food. It is predicted that decorative plant imports would top $40 million in 2003, making the aquarium trade a valuable component of the mariculture business. Fishes such as clownfish and tangs are examples of marine ornamental fishes that may be found in aquariums. It is also possible to cultivate ornamental shrimp for use in the aquariatrade. Beautiful species, like as the fire shrimp, have been bred for the enjoyment of hobbyists and aquarium enthusiasts alike.

It is for entertainment purposes rather than for nutritional purposes that they are purchased by consumers.

During recessions, when global economies are weak, decorative output suffers because individuals do not have as much spare cash to spend on non-essentials. Consumption of luxury commodities, such as aquaria fish, is increasing as the economy improves and customers have more disposable income.

How can mariculture better help feed humanity?

The primary production of the marine and terrestrial domains is comparable, at 49 and 56 Gt C year 1, respectively (Field et al., 1998), and because the marine primary production is primarily in the form of unicellular phytoplankton, it must be more readily available for grazing animals than the terrestrial primary production. As a result, we harvest the ocean quite efficiently, perhaps exceeding its sustainable yields (Marra, 2005), and it is surprising that only about 2 percent of human food comes from aquatic systems, which include both marine and freshwater aquaculture and fisheries (Figure 1A, faostat3.fao.org and fao.org/fishery/statistics/en).

  1. When it comes to animal meat and animal products in general (including milk and eggs), aquatic food acquisition is more significant than terrestrial food acquisition, accounting for 34 and 12 percent of total output in terrestrial and aquatic systems, respectively (Figures 1A–C).
  2. Figure 1.
  3. Take note of the various scales on the y-axis (Mt, megatons or million tons).
  4. As much as 96 percent of plant output comes from marine aquaculture, also known as mariculture, while as much as 44 percent of total fish production comes from cultured fisheries.
  5. According to Olsen (2011), seaweed output has risen at the fastest rate in the previous two decades (http://www.fao.org/fishery/statistics/en/).
  6. Over many decades, the production of mollusks has risen at a high pace, but the production of crustaceans and fish that require feeding has expanded at a slower pace.
  7. Over the last two decades, agricultural plant products have steadily made their way into the feed for fish and shrimp, and they now constitute a significant portion of the resources available to these predators (Olsen, 2011).

In addition to the availability of freshwater (Oki and Kanae, 2006;Duarte et al., 2009), the availability of phosphate fertilizers (Cordell and White, 2014), the need for additional space for increasing production, environmental interactions and climate change (UN, 2012b;FAO, 2014), there are other major concerns that are raising concerns about global food security in the decades to come (Miller, 2008).

  1. As a result of this scenario and the 2008 “food crisis,” various organizations, notably the FAO and the Rio+20 Conference, are urging fisheries and mariculture to play a more significant role in human food security in the coming years (UN, 2012b;FAO, 2014).
  2. Even though both mariculture and fisheries produce equivalent amounts of seafood, the poor seafood provision from mariculture and fisheries compared to that from agriculture is a result of the higher number of trophic levels in the seas (Field and colleagues, 1998).
  3. Humans are really fed approximately two stages higher in the marine food chain than they are in the agriculture food chain (Duarte et al., 2009;Olsen, 2011).
  4. It is a significant task to lessen, if not eliminate, that disparity.
  5. Mariculture provides a variety of possibilities for reducing these losses that are not accessible in the fishing industry.
  6. It represents a significant issue for the aquaculture sector, research, and society in the twenty-first century.
  7. This means that cultured animals (and thereby also humans) should be moved to lower trophic levels in the seafood chain.

All human actions have an impact on the environment, but the level of impact must be kept within acceptable boundaries.

Known restrictions to the ongoing growth and spread of mariculture include legal concerns, technology, feed resources, coastal space, environmental interactions, and an efficient infrastructure.

Overall plan for the development of mariculture should be based on a road map outlining the steps necessary to attain this goal.

Seaweed and snail farming are the fastest expanding sectors in worldwide mariculture, demonstrating that output in mariculture has been shifting toward lower trophic levels for more than two decades.

(Olsen, 2011).

This is because there are obvious resource limitations for the production of carnivore animals in the sea.

The fundamental principles discussed above have consequences for all common scientific challenges in aquaculture, and a comprehensive general plan for expanding mariculture may include, among other things, the following elements: Culture of species or groups of animals with a lower trophic level (e.g., omnivore fish, mollusks and seaweed).

  1. Utilize the existing fish meal and fish oil in the most efficient manner possible, as the quantity of both will likely diminish with time.
  2. Comply with rules in order to prevent and manage environmental interactions in mariculture, both at the cultivation site and during the whole life cycle of the crop’s production.
  3. This includes production systems, growing methods, animal health and welfare management, and other aspects.
  4. In agriculture, where the tamed animals are herbivores, this has shown to be less of a problem.
  5. There are just a few visually appealing herbivore fish species in the marine environment, and extractive organisms such as mollusks and seaweed will become more prominent if feed supplies become even more scarce in the future.
  6. It should not be assumed that society will accept the widespread use of agricultural food products intended for human consumption in animal production in the future.
  7. This means that aquaculture production methods for exposed coastal waters, which are currently not commercially developed, will be required.
  8. Many coastal regions and states are concerned about the availability of coastal space, as well as international legislation that regulates commercial activities in international waters.
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Other issues that arise in the context of mariculture expansion include species and group diversification, biology and zoo-techniques for cultivation, feeding and nutritional requirements, feed utilization efficiency, and health and welfare issues for newly introduced and already cultured groups and species, among other things.

  1. New biotechnology enabling technologies and approaches, particularly industrial biotechnology, are projected to become increasingly crucial for the development of mariculture in the future.
  2. Mariculture operations may have an impact on the maritime environment depending on the hydrodynamics and other water uses that take place.
  3. Aquaculture facilities discharge metabolic wastes and, in some cases, toxic compounds, such as components derived from pharmaceutical agents, into the environment.
  4. Both environmental- and resource footprints of mariculture are significant, as can be disclosed through impact studies and life cycle studies.

The amount of food production in global mariculture can only approach that of agriculture if the number of trophic transfers and metabolic losses in the seafood chain can be minimized, which implies that humans who consume seafood are pushed to lower trophic levels in the food chain (Duarte et al., 2009;Olsen, 2011).

If everyone works together and takes the necessary measures, it is fair to predict that the sea’s protein output will surpass that of agriculture in the near future (Duarte et al., 2009).

If the entire production in mariculture continues to expand at its current rate of 6–7 percent per year1as it did from 2000 to 2013, it would reach 5–600 million tons by 2050.

Conflict of Interest Statement

Primary production in the marine and terrestrial domains is comparable, with 49 and 56 Gt C year 1 in the marine and terrestrial domains, respectively (Field et al., 1998), and because it is primarily in the form of unicellular phytoplankton, the marine primary production must be more readily available for grazing animals. As a result, we harvest the ocean quite efficiently, perhaps exceeding its sustainable yields (Marra, 2005), and it is surprising that only about 2 percent of human food comes from aquatic systems, which include both marine and freshwater aquaculture and fisheries (Figure1A, faostat3.fao.org and fao.org/fishery/statistics/en).

  1. Figures 1A–C show that the acquisition of aquatic food is more important for animal meat than for animal products in general (milk and egg included).
  2. The overall composition of major groups produced in mariculture is depicted in Figure 1.
  3. Food production with its major components in agriculture (A), plant and animal production in different aquatic systems (B), and the overall composition of major groups produced in mariculture (C).
  4. (C).
  5. Today, the combined production of global aquaculture in both the sea and freshwater is comparable to the amount of seafood harvested from the sea (Figure1B).
  6. Freshwater aquaculture is completely dominated by fish (99 percent ).
  7. Moreover, the current production is comparable to the sum of mollusks, crustaceans, and fishes (Figure1C).
  8. Because almost all species kept in intensive production are provided with some marine resources in their feed, there is already a relatively severe limitation in the availability of feed resources of marine origin required for fish and crustaceans (Tacon and Metian, 2008).

If agriculture can meet the food demands of the growing global human population in the twenty-first century, which is expected to reach 9.5 (8.3–10.9) billion by 2050 (UN, 2012a), with a population with steadily increasing purchasing power, it will be a monumental challenge and a source of contention.

  • As a result of this situation and the 2008 “food crisis,” many organizations, including the FAO and the Rio+20 Conference, are urging fisheries and mariculture to play a more prominent role in human food security in the years ahead (UN, 2012b;FAO, 2014).
  • The low seafood provision from mariculture and fisheries as compared to agriculture, despite a comparable input of primary production (Field et al., 1998), is a result of the additional trophic levels in the oceans (Field and colleagues, 1998).
  • Humans are really fed about two stages higher in the marine food chain than they are in the agricultural food chain, according to research (Duarte et al., 2009;Olsen, 2011).
  • Getting that gap down, if not closed, is a major issue.
  • Mariculture provides numerous possibilities for reducing metabolic losses that are not accessible in fisheries.
  • Aquaculture, science, and society are all facing a significant challenge in the twenty-first century.
  • This means that cultured animals (and therefore humans) should be moved to lower trophic levels in the seafood chain.
  • The environmental costs of all human activities must be considered, but the impact on the environment must be maintained within acceptable boundaries.
  • Legal concerns, technology, feed resources, coastal space, environmental interactions, and an efficient infrastructure are all known barriers to the ongoing growth and extension of mariculture, and additional barriers are expected to emerge in the future.
  • We must emphasize that this development toward lowering the number of trophic transfers in the seafood chain is already underway, although it is not typically thought of in terms of shortening the seafood chain.

More importantly, the feed resources used for farmed carnivore animals are increasingly derived from agricultural plants (Naylor et al., 2009; Kaushik and Troell, 2010; Olsen, 2011), and as a result, carnivore fish have already been pushed down the food chain by more than one trophic level when compared to their wild counterparts (Olsen, 2011).

  1. A greater amount of seaweed production is required in order to incorporate more seaweed products in the diet of cultured marine creatures, which will most likely result in a greater usage of seaweed for human consumption, as is the case in many Asian nations.
  2. The cultivation of species or groups of species at lower trophic levels (e.g., omnivore fish, mollusks and seaweed).
  3. Use the fish meal and fish oil that is now accessible in the most efficient manner possible because the quantity available will most likely diminish over time.
  4. Obey all applicable legislation in order to limit and regulate environmental interactions associated with mariculture, both on-farm and during its full life-cycle.
  5. This includes production systems, growing methods, animal health and welfare management, and other aspects.
  6. Because most domesticated animals are herbivores, this has proven to be a less difficult task in agriculture.’ We will most likely be able to build new feed resources with a marine lipid profile in the future, and this will determine the dominating species and groups produced in mariculture.

It should be the overall goal of efforts to derive new feed resources to establish resources that are not major components of the human food chain (e.g., taken from today’s commodity markets), and to take the majority of these new resources from the sea in order to establish a more self-sufficient mariculture food chain over a longer period of time (Duarte et al., 2009;Lovatelli et al., 2013).

  • The fact that the majority of coastal nations do not have protected coastlines is critical in a scenario where production is expected to increase.
  • In most cases, the generation of young plants and animals will continue to take place on land or in marine protected areas, and the reuse of water and the conservation of energy used to heat water have both become critical challenges.
  • This includes features of governance (Lovatelli et al., 2013).
  • These are concerns that have arisen in recent years in the field of aquaculture research and development, and they continue to be relevant for the industry’s future growth.
  • Other key enabling technologies include material technologies (e.g., nanotechnology) and components of information technology, and the modeling of processes will continue to evolve in the coming years.
  • Food safety may be jeopardized by pollution from other industry and heavily populated metropolitan areas.
  • This includes the influence of and on the global carbon cycle and climate, which may be disclosed via impact studies and life cycle studies.

Factors of economy, management, and governance are brought into play by these difficulties, as well as genetic and disease aspects relating to escapes of farmed organisms, as distinct challenges encountered by mariculture across the world, including in the United States (e.g., seeLiu et al., 2011).

As previously said, such changes have marked the growth of mariculture over the past decade or so, and they must continue in this manner.

After increasing by 6–7 percent yr1as throughout the period 2000–2013, global mariculture production is expected to reach 5–600 million tons by 2050.


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