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2.7.3. Aquaculture

Aquaculture

The aquaculture is the set of activities, techniques and knowledge of breeding aquatic plant and animal species. It is an important economic activity for the production of food, raw materials for industrial and pharmaceutical use, and living organisms for repopulation or ornamentation.

Aquatic animal farming

It consists of the rearing of aquatic organisms such as fishmollusks and crustaceans, intervening in their reproductive cycles to increase their production.

Aquaculture is very diverse, from freshwater fish farming in Asia to shrimp farming in saltwater ponds off the coast of Ecuador, or salmon cage production off the coast of Norway or Scotland.

Batea en la Ría de Arousa (Galicia) en la que se cultiva el mejillón y otras especies.

Aquaculture problems

  • They increase the ecological pressure on other species of fish that serve as food for species used in aquaculture.
  • The introduction of strange species in ecosystems.
  • The destruction of natural habitats such as mangroves as they are eliminated to give rise to culture ponds.
  • Loss of biological diversity as cultivation focuses on very few species.

Seaweed cultivation

The cultivation of algae is the alternative to terrestrial plant production.

Until now, algae have only had industrial interest as producers of gels with different uses (cosmetics, laboratories, etc.), but in Japan and other Asian countries they have long been cultivated for human food.

Besides for human consumption, algae can have other uses:

  • In livestock, as food for livestock.
  • In agriculture, in the production of fertilizers and fertilizers.
  • In pharmacy, for its antitumor and antioxidant properties among others.
  • In cosmetics, for skin and hair.
  • For the restoration of polluted sea beds.
  • As an energy source to obtain biogas and biodiesel.

Algae cultivation problems

  • Lack of control in their reproduction, which can cause "green tides" that can have negative effects on the coasts, especially on the beaches.
  • Accumulation of toxic products from water that would pass into the food chains of ecosystems and humans.