Climate idea

George Kariuki

4 w


Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

Climate idea

Aquaculture and its solution to overfishing.

Fishermen and farmers alike are taking to the waters to produce protein to feed the world—from finfish to shellfish to seaweed.
Aquaculture, sometimes called aquafarming, is the breeding, raising, growing, and harvesting of aquatic organisms in fresh and salt water for human consumption and conservation alike—and the nuances of what it entails are vast.
Dating back more than 4,000 years, aquaculture gradually expanded from China to the rest of the world, and has gained most of its popularity in the 21st century. Today, it’s the fastest growing industry for producing protein, one of the basic building blocks of our diet.
Plus, over 50 percent of the world’s seafood comes from aquaculture.
“The debate is over,” says Daniel Benetti, the director of aquaculture at the University of Miami. “It's here to stay. It's already mainstream.”
As overfishing threatens the world’s waters and the species that rely on them, aquaculture may be the solution to keep fishermen at sea and food on our tables. And there are many different types of aquaculture. Here’s what you need to know.
Although Asia is the world’s largest producer of algae, these farms are gaining traction across the world as our understanding of its nutritious value grows.
Seaweed, a type of algae, is also particularly easy to grow as it doesn’t require much attention beyond a little TLC. Sugar kelp, the most commonly cultivated seaweed in the U.S., is grown mainly on longlines, or horizontal ropes, studded with spores that are submerged several feet below the water’s surface. It’s a fast growing, annual crop and has a two-month harvesting window.
When it’s ready, farmers harvest the seaweed by pulling up the longlines and cutting it off. Sugar kelp is mostly sold fresh and directly to restaurants.
Experts say there’s little disadvantage to seaweed farming. “Seaweed farming, and all marine aquaculture, produces far less carbon emissions when compared to terrestrial farming and livestock production,” says Anoushka Concepcion, an assistant extension educator in marine aquaculture at the University of Connecticut.
Whether it’s oysters, clams, or mussels, aquaculture helps ensure there’s plenty of fresh shellfish available to us to eat—and they help keep our oceans clean.

What is aquaculture?

From seaweed to shellfish, this fast-growing industry is ensuring that humans have enough protein for our diets. Here's what to know about aquaculture.

Farmers obtain shellfish seedlings from a hatchery, which is where the shellfish are bred from sperm to larvae to a plantable size. Once in a farm, shellfish, like seaweed, don’t require farmers to provide any food or fertilizer beyond what the ocean naturally offers. Farmers do, however, use different methods to grow each type of shellfish.

Do you agree?

24 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Evangeline Wanjiru



    4 w

    Ensuring that fishermen understand the implications of overfishing would be the most critical aspect in this campaign

    • Munene Mugambi



      4 w

      If we can control what leaves our water bodies we can surely ensure continued life in our waters

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