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Quick guide
to aquaculture

Aquaculture, or aquatic agriculture, is the cultivation of fish, crustaceans, aquatic plants, algae and shellfish in water environments.

These environments can be found in freshwater such as lakes or rivers, the sea and brackish water. We typically use sinking or floating sea cages, net pens, manmade systems or tanks on land.

That being said, aquaculture is more than just fish farming – we’re also involved in working with species such as turtles and crocodiles, stock restoration and replenishing threatened species. Aquaculture systems are producing fish for the ornamental fish trade, and growing plants and animals for alternative uses such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies.

Aquaculture has a history dating back to 6,000 BC, and is now one of the fastest growing food producing sectors in the world. As finding additional land for farming and fishing the seas becomes more problematic, the development of aquaculture processes is an increasingly important solution in order to ensure we can meet food demand of a growing world population. Global demand for food is projected to increase by 50 percent by 2030, and to double by 2050.

Worldwide aquaculture now produces 50 percent of all fish for human consumption, compared to 9 percent in 1980. Salmon aquaculture revenue in Scotland is now estimated to be worth £1.86 billion annually to the economy – which is an increase of £110 million year-on-year, and supports over 8,300 jobs.

Our challenge in aquaculture is to increase production, especially in developing countries, while balancing sustainability, animal welfare and environmental issues. Our research helps to improve methods and technology in aquaculture around the world.

Addressing global food security

As the global population grows we need new, transformational processes that allow us to farm the best fish in the healthiest and most efficient way possible.

Working with solutions

Today we are working on a range of ways to help ensure aquaculture can provide us all with enough food.

We work with pharma suppliers to help them produce the best vaccines and disease cures.

We work with fish farmers to help them look after and breed the best fish.

We work with fish farmers and governments to help them establish new fish farms.

We work with suppliers to help them produce the best, most nutritious fish food.

Contact us

Institute of Aquaculture

Faculty of Natural Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling, Stirlingshire
FK9 4LA, UK

+44 01786 467874
+44 01786 472133
aquaculture@stir.ac.uk

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