What Are the Types of Aquaculture?

There are two primary types of aquaculture, which are freshwater and marine aquaculture. Aquaculture is also referred to as shellfish farming or fish farming, and it involves the entire process of breeding, raising and harvesting various organisms in aquatic environments. Aquaculture involves the reproduction of numerous organisms, including many species of plants and aquatic animals.

Marine aquaculture is the process of raising fish and aquatic plants in seawater habitats. In the United States, marine aquaculture generally includes the production of shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams, as well as fish such as salmon, cod, seabass, seabream and moi. In ocean settings, marine aquaculture generally involves setting up cages on the ocean floor or hanging large cages from artificial structures such as nets and large buoys. Ocean environments can also be simulated in terrestrial settings via manmade devices such as small ponds or dredged lakes.

The size of aquaculture systems varies widely; some systems are small enough to raise small populations, while others are used to produce plants and animals for commercial sale. Freshwater aquaculture systems may generate species native to specific freshwater habitats such as streams, lakes and rivers. In the U.S., freshwater aquaculture typically involves raising species of catfish, bass, trout and tilapia.