The world's fish supply is dwindling due to massive over-fishing and changes in climate. Many nations depend on fish and other seafood for their own food supply as well as for their export economies. At the same time, the population of the world continues to grow. This will lead to food shortages and unrest in countries with some of the poorest residents.
The rise of aquaculture.
As fish catches started to diminish, and their habitats began to change, scientists saw the need to produce fish and other seafood in an artificial environment. Aquaculture tanks were created that provide an environment that can be tailored to individual species' needs.
Fish hatcheries were developed that reproduce the natural habitat of the fishes' spawning place, minus the diseases, predators, and unnatural temperature fluctuations. These aquaculture tanks produce an optimal setting for fish to be born, so millions of fingerlings (baby fish) can be produced in this controlled environment. The fingerlings are then transferred to growth centers with tanks designed for them to grow to adulthood and be sold.
Much of the fish and other seafood that is bought at a market is grown in aquaculture tanks. Unless the seafood says "wild caught" or some other indication that it was procured in the wild, it can be assumed that it was born and raised in an aquaculture tank.
Marine aquaculture and freshwater aquaculture
Marine aquaculture refers to the culturing of species that live naturally in the ocean, such as shellfish and salmon. Although aquaculture tanks can be used to cultivate some ocean species, many of these varieties are raised in controlled bodies of water, such as pools or ponds. This method is more prevalent in countries where over-fishing or climate change has decimated the local species upon which the local population depended for food and exports.
Freshwater aquaculture is involved in cultivating fish that are native to lakes and rivers. Aquaculture in the United States is dominated by cultivation of freshwater fish such as catfish, tilapia, and bass. The US and other developed countries make the most use of aquaculture tanks in cultivating fish. These tanks can provide an environment that is easier to control and keep free of disease than ponds or pools, and can be enhanced by more technological advances.
As more entrepreneurs see the business opportunities that aquaculture provides and governments envision a future of a world without a sufficient food supply, aquaculture will continue to expand and evolve into a major source of food for a hungry planet.
For more information about aquaculture tanks, contact C F Maier Composites or a similar company.