What is the Fish Farming


Fish farming or pisciculture is a commercial breeding of fish, most often for food, in fish tanks or artificial enclosures such as fish ponds. It is a particular type of aquaculture, which is the controlled cultivation and harvesting of aquatic animals such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and so on, in natural or pseudo-natural environment.

A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species produced in fish farming are carp, catfish, salmon and tilapia.

Global demand is increasing for dietary fish protein, which has resulted in widespread overfishing in wild fisheries, resulting in significant decrease in fish stocks and even complete depletion in some regions. Fish farming allows establishment of artificial fish colonies that are provided with sufficient feeding, protection from natural predators and competitive threats, access to veterinarian service, and easier harvesting when needed, while being separate from and thus do not usually impact the sustainable yields of wild fish populations.

While fish farming is practised worldwide, China alone provides 62% of the world’s farmed fish production. As of 2016, more than 50% of seafood was produced by aquaculture. In the last three decades, aquaculture has been the main driver of the increase in fisheries and aquaculture production, with an average growth of 5.3 percent per year in the period 2000–2018, reaching a record 82.1 million tonnes in 2018.

World capture fisheries and aquaculture production by production mode, from FAO’s Statistical Yearbook 2021. Farming carnivorous fish such as salmon, however, does not always reduce pressure on wild fisheries, such farmed fish are usually fed fishmeal and fish oil extracted from wild forage fish. The 2008 global returns for fish farming recorded by the FAO totaled 33.8 million tonnes worth about US$60 billion.

Although fish farming for food is the most widespread, another major fish farming industry provides living fish for the aquarium trade. The vast majority of freshwater fish in the aquarium trade originate from farms in eastern and southern Asia, eastern Europe, Florida and South America that use either indoor tank systems or outdoor pond systems, while farming of fish for the marine aquarium trade happens at a much smaller scale.

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