Aquaculture, also referred to as aquafarming, in its simplest terms is fish farming. Aquaculturists farm fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and aquatic plants. Aquaculture is not the same as commercial fishing, but they are similar. Where commercial fishing harvests wild fish for sale at market, aquaculture involves cultivating aquatic populations (fisth, crustaceans, etc.) under highly controlled conditions. Aquaculture involving involving the cultivation of marine populations is known as Mariculture.
Aquaculture is a very important part the world economy. It is estimated that worldwide aquaculture operations are responsible for over one half of the fish and shellfish consumed globally. However, this figure may not be entirely accurate.
Aquaculture programs are designed to prepare students to select, culture, propagate, harvest, and market domesticated fish, shellfish, and marine plants, both saltwater and freshwater. This program typically includes in depth instruction in the design and operation of fish farms, breeding facilities, culture beds, and related enterprises; basic principles of aquatic and marine biology; health and nutrition of aquatic and marine life; and related issues of safety, applicable regulations, logistics, and supply.
The following colleges and universities provide majors and degree programs in aquaculture.
- Auburn University Auburn, AL
- Brunswick Community College Supply, NC
- Clemson University Clemson, SC
- College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID
- Cumberland County College Vineland, NJ
- Delaware Technical and Community College: Owens Georgetown, DE
- Gadsden State Community College Gadsden, AL
- Grays Harbor College Aberdeen, WA
- Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston, MS
- New River Community and Technical College Beckley, WV
- State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville Morrisville, NY
- Texas A&M University-Galveston Galveston, TX
- Unity College Unity, ME