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Aquaculture

  • By: Jennifer J. Silver
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Aquaculture is the controlled and/or targeted cultivation of specific freshwater or marine species by humans. An activity often likened to agriculture, aquaculture involves selecting a species for cultivation either because of market demand or subsistence requirements and because it displays traits amenable to highly successful reproduction or growth under regulated environmental conditions. Intensification in aquaculture has generally increased over time and currently varies depending on the aquaculturists’ desired level of capital investment and scale of production. Aquaculture should be considered as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of marine and freshwater culture activities such as captive grow-outs, fish farming (including genetic manipulation and embryo rearing/hatching), alga farming, mariculture, aquaponics, and so on.

Alongside resource extraction and food production more generally, seafood production has experienced rapid, ...

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