Mariculture

From Academic Kids

Mariculture is the cultivation of marine organisms for food, either in their "natural environment", or in seawater in ponds or raceways. An example of the latter is the farming of marine fish, prawns, or oysters in saltwater ponds. By definition, mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture.

The Japanese have developed a clever process for free ranching marine fish. The principle is based on behavioral conditioning and the migratory nature of certain species of marine fish. The fishermen first raise fish hatchlings in a closely knitted net in a harbor. They sound an underwater horn before each feeding. When the young fish are old enough they are freed from the net to mature in the open sea. During spawning season, about 80% of these fish return to their birthplace. The fishermen harvest the fish by sounding the horn and then raising the net.

Mariculture is not limited to food production only, products such as cultured pearls are considered mariculture as well.

Off the coast of California, the top few feet of natural kelp beds are harvested by boats with mowers. Kelp provides alginin, an edible material used in ice cream and cosmetics.

See also: agriculture, food, Fish farming

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