Growing Demand for Seafood Likely to Pressure Aquaculture into New Developments

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
30 January 2007, at 12:00am

US - The last three decades have seen the aquaculture industry develop into one of the fastest growing food producing sectors in the world.

The industry today is extremely diverse and contains a wide variety of systems ranging from small ponds to large-scale commercial systems. The exponential rate at which the world population is expanding is contributing toward making culture fisheries more important than ever as a reliable source of food and resources.

"The growth of the aquaculture industry is vital for meeting the world's growing appetite for fish and other seafood," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Kasturi Nadkarny. "If the aquaculture industry manages to overcome the environmental concerns and the social and economical challenges plaguing it, it could be instrumental in narrowing the widening gap between the demand and supply of seafood."

A recent report from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals that by 2030, maintaining the present-day consumption levels will require an additional 40 million tons of fish. The wild fish populations will be incapable of meeting this demand, putting an onus on the aquaculture industry to boost its production to compensate for this gap in supply and demand.

On the flip side, intensive shrimp farming results in several tons of organic waste within a single shrimp-farming crop. Most of these wastes are in the form of stable organic compounds that are difficult to be broken down into simpler forms and cannot be put to use by the phytoplankton through photosynthesis. The oxidation of these compounds results in the depletion of the dissolved oxygen content in the shrimp ponds. Further, the generation of toxic metabolites such as nitrite, ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulphide makes the soil acidic, damages the gills and tails of the fish, affects their metabolism, causes blue shrimp syndrome owing to nutritional deficiency and disrupts the molting process.

"This is mainly responsible for the high mortality rates in aquaculture shrimp farming and to add to this issue, shrimp farms are always located in close proximity of each other, making it easy for diseases to spread from one farm to another and making it difficult to be controlled," explains Nadkarny. "In addition, although most nations have the scope to considerably enhance their aquaculture production for meeting the global demand for seafood, fish farmers lack sufficient technical information that is required to improve practices aimed at higher quality and yield."

Aquaculture - Global Developments is part of the Technical Insights Food and Beverages Subscription, and it gives an overview of emerging trends in the aquaculture landscape that involves key drivers, challenges, restraints, and analysis of adoption trends. Interviews are available to the press.

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Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective, and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.

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