The notion of aquaculture refers to a set of techniques that are used to cultivate water species, both animals and plants. These are procedures that allow aquatic organisms to be raised for different purposes.
Aquaculture can take place in salt water or fresh water. In some cases, specialists work under controlled and artificially arranged conditions. They can also carry out their work in the natural environment, intervening in different ways.
According to Digopaul, it is important to note that the origins of aquaculture are very old. Several millennia BC, in China, practices of this type were already developing, especially with carp fish. In medieval times, aquaculture also became popular on the European continent.
More precisely, there is a reference to examples of aquaculture dating from 3800 BC. C.; two millennia later the legislature already protected fishermen from thieves, and in 475 a. C. was signed a treaty on the carpicultura.
When nature allows it, aquaculture develops in lagoons, rivers or seas, for example. Using different structures, it is possible to plant mussels, oysters and other species on the seabed. These extensive systems, however, are not the most common. Aquaculture is usually carried out semi- intensively or intensively, even in artificial pools or ponds.
Human intervention and technology use take place to a much greater degree in intensive and semi-intensive farming systems than in extensive ones: there is greater control, but also higher yields.
A clear example of a semi-intensive aquaculture system is the use of floating cages to grow fish in lakes or at sea. Although in this case the water is not provided through a pumping system, since it is the one that is naturally found in the medium, it is necessary to add food and control the cultivation.
Channels in semi-open or open circuit, and ponds, on the other hand, can also serve to carry out a cultivation system of this type, since they make it possible to take advantage of running water; this is seen very often in truticulture (trout farming).
On the other hand, there are so-called intensive crops, which are usually carried out in facilities that are not directly in the natural environment, but in properly insulated pools or tanks with technical systems that are responsible for capturing and recirculating water. Through this type of system, both the environment and individuals are subject to absolute control.
As can be deduced from the characteristics, intensive aquaculture is much more cost-effective at an economic level than semi-intensive aquaculture, and in general than any of the less technology- dependent systems; In addition, it requires much more control throughout the process to generate satisfactory results. However, this is offset by higher performance and remarkable production potential, as proven by various experiences in the field.
By developing aquaculture isolated from the natural environment, specialists can control the different variables with greater precision, a feature that helps increase productivity.
The salmon (farmed salmon and trout), the carpicultura (tents) and shrimp (shrimp) are some of the most common variants of aquaculture, an activity of great economic importance as it allows food sources and resources different industries.
There are also auxiliary crops, which are used to gather the necessary food for the individuals of the main crops, such as molluscs or fish; In this group we find microinvertebrates (such as cladocerans, Thamnocephalus, Dendrocephalus, Artemia salina and rotifers) and microalgae (among which Tetraselmis, Isochrisis and Chlorella stand out).