300px-IMTA cultured mussels (Mytilus edulis) in the Bay of Fundy Canada

Blue mussels cultivated in proximity to Atlantic salmon.

Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming or mariculture, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, shellfish and aquatic plants. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.

Pre AstroEdit

Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. The reported output from Pre Astro Earth aquaculture operations would have supplied one half of the fish and shellfish that was directly consumed by humans; however, there are issues about the reliability of the reported figures. Further, in aquaculture practice, products from several pounds of wild fish were used to produce one pound of a piscivorous[1] fish like salmon. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Broadly speaking, finfish and shellfish fisheries can be conceptualized as akin to hunting and gathering while aquaculture is akin to agriculture. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish, shrimp and oyster farming, mariculture, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture[2], both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.

Modern AquacultureEdit

Aquaculture is practiced on most worlds throughout the Union. However, even these non-producing planets benefit from less expensive "naturally grown" seafood due to trade in these products.  SII Agra Corp is the Union's largest producer of aquacultural products.


[1] A piscivore is a carnivorous animal which eats primarily fish.

[2] Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) provides the by-products, including waste, from one aquatic species as inputs (fertilizers, food) for another. IMTA can increase total output, even if some of the crops yield less than they would, short-term, in a monoculture.

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