EarthLabs > Fisheries > Lab 6: And On His Farm He Had Some Fish > 6B: Trends in Aquaculture

And On His Farm He Had Some Fish

Part B: Trends in Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the fastest growing segment of food production in the world. Global aquaculture grew from a production of below 1 million tons in the early 1950s, to 59.4 million tons and a value of over US$70 million in 2004.

  1. Examine the table below of the average annual growth rates of world aquaculture production for different species groups.

    Chart courtesy of FAO, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2006.

    Checking In

    Answer the following questions to check your understanding of the information provided in the table above.

    • Rank the species groups in order of average annual growth rate from greatest to least for the time period 1970-2004.
      • Crustaceans (18.9%)
      • Marine fish (10.5%)
      • Freshwater fish (9.3)
      • Molluscs (7.7%)
      • Diadromous fish (7.3%)
    • What two species had the fastest production growth rates from 2000-2004?
      Crustaceans (19.2%) and Marine fish (9.6%).

    Aquaculture is currently responsible for one third of the fish consumed globally. When managed responsibly, aquaculture has the potential to help take some of the pressure off of capture fisheries and to provide employment and revenue for coastal communities. However, as aquaculture production continues to grow, so do concerns over aquaculture's impacts on the environment and wild fish species.

  2. Read the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Fish Farming Fact Cards (Acrobat (PDF) 149kB Oct15 07) to learn more about different techniques used for raising seafood.

    Checking In

    Test your knowledge of fish farming methods.

    • What are the five major types of fish farming methods? What types of fish are raised in each type of facility?
      • Open Net Pens or Cages: salmon and tuna
      • Ponds: shrimp, catfish, and tilapia
      • Raceways: rainbow trout
      • Recirculating Systems: finfish species such as striped bass, salmon, and sturgeon
      • Shellfish Culture: oysters, mussels, and clams

    Stop and Think

    1: How does aquaculture impact the environment and wild fish populations?

    The biggest contributor to the growth rate of crustacean aquaculture comes from shrimp. Continue to Part C to learn how the rapid rise of shrimp farming has changed on Central American country.