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Aquaculture And Fishing Industries Environmental Sciences Essay

4522 words (18 pages) Essay in Environmental Sciences

5/12/16 Environmental Sciences Reference this

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What are aquaculture and fishing industries? Aquaculture is the art, science and business of rearing aquatic organisms in fresh or marine water under controlled or semi-controlled conditions. The fishing industry activity concerned with culturing, processing, preserving and marketing of fish and fish products.

Next, there are many types of aquaculture. For example, types of aquaculture are extensive farming or cage farming and intensive aquaculture. Furthermore, the types of fishing industries includes commercial fishing, fish farming, fish processing, fish products and fish marketing.

Besides of types of aquaculture, there are also includes methods of aquaculture. Examples for methods of aquaculture involved open net pens or cages, ponds, raceways, recirculation systems and shellfish culture. However examples for methods of fishing industries included pole/troll fishermen, purse seining, gillnetting, traps and pots, harpooning and trolling.

Aquaculture and fishing industries are considered as developing sectors in Malaysia. These industries are contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic growth and providing jobs opportunity to communities as well as to enhance the welfare and quality of life.

Aquaculture is the art, science and business of rearing aquatic organisms in fresh or marine water under controlled or semi-controlled conditions. Furthermore, the definition of aquaculture can be break down to two components such as the term ‘aquatic’ refers to a variety of water environments which including freshwater, brackish water and marine and the term of ‘Aquatic organisms’ that means the interest with regard to human food include a wide variety of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.

Aquaculture also is the farming of freshwater and saltwater organisms such as finfish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. It is also known as aqua farming. For examples, aquaculture involves cultivating aquatic populations under controlled conditions and contrasted with commercial fishing which is the harvesting of wild fish.

1.3 Type of Aquaculture

There are two general types of fish farming which are extensive farming and intensive farming.

What is extensive farming. Extensive farming means the farming which is easier to set up and maintain because no need for advanced water quality control systems. Ocean waters near the shore with good tidal flushing are the place that most suitable for extensive farming. However, reliance on nature for water management make environmental problems happened. For example, the algae bloom is happened by concentrated waste and nutrients. The ways to prevent and reduce the risks to the environment are more exposed sites and attention to cage density can be establish for those countries that have the species already native in that area.

Another type of aquaculture is intensive aquaculture. Intensive aquaculture encourages the use of intensive and closed-loop systems for aquaculture. In these systems, almost all the water is recycled with at most 5%-10% of water being replaced each day. Furthermore, as the water is in a closed loop, the waste from the fish will not impact the surrounding environments. The ability to stack shallow tanks makes intensive farming particularly well suited to flat fish such as flounder. The primary downside is the complexity of the recycling systems. However, intensive aquaculture also provides an opportunity for landlocked nations to become involved and stacking tanks that allows for large numbers of fish in a single facility.

1.4 Methods of Aquaculture

There are five methods of aquaculture that included by open net pens or cages, ponds, raceways, recirculation systems and shellfish culture.

Firstly, Salmon, the fish enclose in open net pens or cages that mostly exist in offshore coastal areas or in freshwater lakes. The high-impact aquaculture method commonly refers to net pens. This is because the waste from the fish can passes freely into the surrounding environment and contaminate wild habitat. Farmed fish can flee and compete the natural resources with wild fish or interbreed with wild fish of the same species that will compromise the wild population. For examples, diseases and parasites can spread to wild fish through swimming past net pens.

Next, ponds is the place that enclose fish in a coastal or inland body of fresh or salt water. This manner is use to raise shrimp, catfish and tilapia. After that, wastewater can be contained and treated. The surrounding environment and groundwater can be polluted by the discharge of untreated wastewater from the ponds. Moreover, the construction of shrimp ponds in mangrove forests has destroyed more than 3.7 million acres of coastal habitat important to fish, birds and humans.

Raceways allow farmers convert water from a waterway, like a stream or well and to make it easily flows through channels that containing fish. Furthermore, farmers usually diverting it back into a natural waterway after treating the water. If the farmers untreated the water, wastewater from the raceways can affect waterways and spread out disease. Farmed fish can potentially escape and compete with wild fish for natural resources. Besides this, escaped fish can interbreed with wild fish of the same species which lead the health of wild population at risk.

Recirculation systems raise fish in the tanks where the water must be treated and recycled through this system. All the types of finfish species like striped bass, salmon and sturgeon can be raised in recirculation systems. Recirculation systems can address many environmental concerns associated with fish farming in which fish cannot escape and wastewater is treated. However, the costs of treatment for wastewater are expensive and very rely on electricity or other power sources.

Shellfish culture means that the types of shellfish such as oysters, mussels, and clams can grow on beaches or suspend them in water by ropes, plastic trays or mesh bags. Mostly, farmers use filter feeders and clean water to thrive. This is because filter feeders can filter excess nutrients out of the water but the farming shellfish with high densities in areas with tidal flow can lead the waste accumulated.

1.5 Species Groups

Species groups of aquaculture include finfish, shellfish, crustaceans, echinoderms and algae.

The farming of finfish consider as the most common in aquaculture because it raised fish in tanks, ponds or ocean with the main purpose that is to meet the demand for food.

Fish hatchery is an adoption that used to release immature fish into the wild for recreational fishing. For examples, salmon, carp, tilapia, catfish and cod are the types of fish hatchery.

Secondly, abalone and oyster farming is the types of shellfish farming. Abalone farming began in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Japan and China. Since the mid-1990s, this industry has become increasingly successful. Next, over-fishing and poaching have reduced wild populations to the extent that farmed abalone now supplies the most abalone meat.

Thirdly, crustacean farming involve shrimp farming and fresh water prawn farming. Virtually all farmed shrimp are penaeids (shrimp of the family Penaeide). There are two species of shrimp that involved the Penaeus vannamei (Pacific white shrimp) and the Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn) account for roughly 80% of all farmed shrimp. These industrial monocultures are very susceptible to disease which has decimated shrimp populations across entire regions.

Echinoderm farming is one of the methods of aquaculture. Commercially harvested echinoderms include sea cucumbers and sea urchins. For examples, sea cucumbers are farmed in articial ponds as large as 1,000 acres (400 ha) in China.

Last but not least, algae farming such as microalgae also referred to as phytoplankton, microphyte or planktonic algae constitute the majority of cultivater algae and macroalgae that commonly known as seaweed. Despite seaweeds have many commercial and industrial uses but they are not easily cultivated on a large scale.

1.6 Benefits of Aquaculture

The benefits can be categorized into three general types that are economic, social and environmental. In the case of aquaculture, the potential for financial gains was the initial cause of growth in the industry. Social and environmental benefits are also being totaled as valid reasons for growing aquaculture sector in the United States.

First of all, economic benefits gain from aquaculture. The income of country is generated for the communities and countries by aquaculture. For examples, exporting of aquaculture product to the foreign country can provides security to our economies and cultures.

Next, many job opportunities are provided by fish farming from the view of social benefits in aquaculture nowadays. Aquaculture is the potential agriculture to provide those fishermen put out of their works as well as new recruits with a job in aquaculture.

Lastly, environmental benefits will decrease the pressure on wild fisheries. The fisheries in many worlds are categorized at unhealthy or unsustainable levels. A growing aquaculture sector can decrease the pressure on wild fish stocks and provide market demand for farmed fish as great as the demand for wild fish. However, fisheries economics and policies have implications for the ability of aquaculture to replace or provide an alternative to wild catches.

1.7 Impacts of Aquaculture

The main impact of aquaculture is the pollution of inland and coastal waters. Aquaculture is different with mollusk farming because there are many species of fish rely on a diet of synthetic feed in pellet form. This feed is broadcast onto the surface of the water and feed by the fish as it settles through the water column. Due to not all the feed is consumed, a great deal of feed can reach the bottom where it is eaten by the benthos or break down by microorganisms. This modification of the natural food web structure can significantly affect the local environment. Many studies have indicated feeding exceedingly in fish farms is the effect of changes in benthic community structure because a high food supply may favor some organisms over others. Moreover, tame animals may die in water diminish of oxygen resulting from microbial break down while the mobile population may transfer to other areas.

Next, eutrophication is the second impact of concentrate fish culture where the water surrounding raising pens or the rivers receiving aquaculture effluent. Fish waste matter and fecal wastes mix with nutrients released from the breakdown of overfeed to raise nutrient levels well above normal, creating an ideal environment for algal blooms to form. The way to compound the problem is most feed that formulated to contain more nutrients than necessary for most applications. When algal blooms die, they settle to the bottom where their decomposition can reduce the oxygen. There is potentially that algal toxins are produced before they die.

Then, the impacts of aquaculture is on natural stocks. Clearly, feeding fish is a fish leads to a net loss of protein in a protein-short world and directly effect on natural stocks, but aquaculture may have a plenty of indirect impact on the natural environment. Almost all the marine or brackish water culture is relying upon natural fisheries for some aspect of operations. Although more and more hatcheries are being constructed to provide seed for shellfish and finfish culture, most farms still capture wild animals for brood stock or for a source of larvae. In some cases, collection of wild-caught shrimp larvae to stock ponds has damage thousands of other larval species in the process.

The full effect of removing natural fish stocks from food webs is difficult to predict. When fish are removed to make fish meal, less food may be available for commercially valuable predatory fish and for other marine predators such as seabirds and seals. This effect exacerbates large-scale problems caused by global warming and the El Nino phenomenon. The El Nino of 1997-1998 is considered to be the second strongest “warm event” in the tropical and subtropical Pacific this century. The shift in water temperature make a severe decline in biomass and total production of small pelagic fish leading to change food webs and a lack of fish meal and fish oil.

Furthermore, there is habitat destruction in mangrove forests. There are over 400,000 hectares of mangroves have been altered into brackish water aquaculture for the cultivating of shrimp in Asia. For examples, farmed shrimp is used to raise the earnings of a developing country’s foreign exchange. Tropical mangroves are the habitat that prevent erosion, good quality of coastal water and cultivate many marine organisms. A sustainable and renewable resource of firewood, timber, pulp, and charcoal from mangrove forests are contributed for the local communities. These habitats are destroyed and it is very difficult for the rehabilitation is the one of the ways to build the bank of ponds for shrimp farming. Unfortunately, shrimp ponds are profitable only for a short term because they are limited demand in the shrimp market.

Besides that, socio-economic is also one of the impacts of aquaculture. There are many countries that accept the aquaculture because income generated from the export of aquaculture’s products that can substantially can lead to a long-range social benefits. Furthermore, many rural communities also enjoy the employment opportunities which related to aquaculture but there are some conflicts happened when crash occurred between traditional employment and the aquaculture industry. The important is resource ownership of aquaculture locations is questionable. The economic benefits are more emphasizes compared to the issues of pollution and social problems.


2.1 Definition of Fishing Industry

The fishing industry includes any industry or activity concerned with taking, culturing, processing, preserving, storing, transporting, marketing or selling fish or fish products. It is defined by the FAO as including recreational, subsistence and commercial fishing, and the harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors. The commercial activity is aimed at the delivery of fish and other seafood products for human consumption or for use as raw material in other industrial processes.

Fishing is defined by the activity of catching fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.

The fishing industry is made up of a great number of independent operators who sell their produce as independent contractors to fish processing plants. It is also made up of fishermen and fishing boat crews working for commercial fleets some of which belong to processing companies.

2.3 Types of Fishing Industry

Commercial fishing is the activity of capturing fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provide a large quantity of food to many countries around the world but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions. Large scale commercial fishing is also known as industrial fishing. Commercial fishermen harvest a wide variety of animals, ranging from tuna, cod and salmon to shrimp, krill, lobster, clams, squid and crab, in various fisheries for these species. Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient using large nets and factory ships. Commercial fishing gears today are surrounding nets, seine nets, trawls, dredge, hooks and lines, lift nets, gillnets, entangling nets and traps. There are large and important fisheries worldwide for various species of fish and crustaceans. However, a very small number of species support the majority of the world’s fisheries.

Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture while other methods may fall under marine culture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. Fish hatchery is a facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers. The most common fish species raised by fish farms are salmon, carol, tilapia, European seabass, catfish and cod. Increasing demands on wild fisheries by commercial fishing has caused widespread overfishing. Fish farming offers an alternative solution to the increasing market demand for fish and fish protein.

Fish processing is the processing of fish and other seafood deliver by fisheries, which are the supplier of the fish products industry. Although the term refer specifically to fish, in practice it is extended to cover all aquatic organisms harvested for commercial purposes, whether harvested from cultured or wild stocks. The largest fish processing companies can have their own fleets. The products of the industry are usually sold wholesale to grocery chains or to intermediaries. Fish processing may be subdivided into two major categories that is fish handling and fish products manufacturing. Another natural subdivision is into primary processing involved in the filleting and freezing of fresh fish for onward distribution to fresh fish retail and catering outlets. The secondary processing that produces chilled, frozen and canned products for the retail and catering trades.

Fish and fish products are consumed as food all over the world. Fish and other aquatic organisms are processed into various food and non-food products. Fish oil is recommended for a healthy diet because it contains the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body. Fish emulsion is a fertilizer that is produced from the fluid remains of fish processed for fish oil and fish meal industrially. Fish meal is made from both whole fish and the bones and offal from processed fish. It is a brown powder or cake obtained by rendering pressing the whole fish or fish trimmings to remove the fish oil. It used as a high-protein supplement in aquaculture feed. Sea horse, star fish, sea urchin abd sea cucumber are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The Sea snails Murex brandaris and Murex Trunculus are used to make the pigment Tyrian purple. Some sepia pigment is made from the inky secretions of cuttlefish.

Fish marketing is the marketing and sale of fish products. It would require special facilities for transportation and holding in wholesale and retail markets. When they have to process before marketing it will undoubtedly be advantageous to link the production centre with transport, storage, preservation or processing system of general fish marketing. This will allow fuller control of market outlets and prices, allowing grater marketing flexibility.

Method of Fishing

First method is using a fishing pole and bait by pole troll fishermen to catch the fishes, encompasses from tuna to cod. This type of fishing is called pole troll fishing. It is environmental friendly and a good alternative to pelagic longline. Unlike pelagic longlines, the rate of bycatch I pole troll fishing is diminishing.

Next, purse seining is use with a large wall of netting to enclose fishes. Fishermen pull the bottom of the netting closed like a drawstring purse to herd fish into the center. The types of purse seines used depend on which species of fish like sardines or other animals like school of dolphins.

Gillnetting is a net that uses curtains of netting and hang with floats and weights. Function of floats and weights are to fix the net to the sea ground or make it to float at the surface of the sea. The purpose of this netting makes the fish invisible to it so the fishes will swim into it. Gillnets are used to catch sardines, salmon and cod yet the sharks and sea turtles accidently.

Longlining is string with small lines of baited hooks and swinging at flat spaced intervals. It can be put near the surface or place on the sea ground to catch pelagic fish like tuna and deep dwelling fish. Lonlining also cause bycatch problem because some of the animals like sea turtle, sharks and seabird can be attracted to the bait. However, by lowering the longlining to deeper sea bycatch can be reduced.

Trawls and dredges are nets set at different depths to catch fish. Trawl nets are dragged along the sea ground to catch fish like pollock, cod, flounder and shrimp. Meanwhile, dredging is carry out by locating a heavy frame that attached with mesh bag along the sea bed to catch animals which is living in the sand catches, such as scallops, clams and oysters. Both trawls and dredge activities intentionally can damage the sea floor and results in bycatch risk.

Fishermen submerged wire or wood cages on the bottom ocean to attract fish with bait and hold them alive until fishermen return to haul in the catch. This fishing method is known as traps and pot. Mostly, fishermen catch lobsters, crabs, shrimp, sablefish and Pacific cod by this method. They have less negative impact if compare to trawls in unintended catch and sea floor impact.

One of the conventional method for catching large fish and still used until today by skilled fishermen is harpooning. When a harpooner spots a fish, he thrusts or shoots a long aluminum or wooden harpoon into the animal and hauls it aboard. Harpooners catch large, pelagic predators like blue fin tuna and swordfish. Harpooning is an environmentally responsible fishing method. Bycatch of unwanted marine life is not a issue because harpoon fishermen visually identify the species and size of the targeted fish before killing it.

Trolling is a hook-and-line method that hauls a fishing lines behind or alongside of a boat. Due to different depths, fishermen use different types of lures and baits to “troll” and attract for different kinds of fish. Trollers catch the fish such as salmon, mahi mahi and albacore tuna which will following a moving lure or bait. Trolling is a fishing method that will not destroy or harm the environment. Since the fishing lines are reeled in soon after a fish takes the bait, fishermen can release fish that is unwanted from their hooks immediately.

Effect of Fishing Industries

Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptance level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans. Ultimately overfishing may lead to resource depletion in cases of subsidized fishing, low biological growth rates and critical low biomass. For example, overfishing of sharks has led to the upset of entire marine ecosystems. The ability of fisheries to naturally recover also depends on whether the conditions of the ecosystems are suitable for population growth. Dramatic changes in species composition may establish other equilibrium energy flows that involve other species compositions than had been present before. For example, remove almost all the trout and the carp might take over and make it nearly impossible for the trout to re-establish a breeding population.

A sustainable fishery produces consistent output over an indefinite period without damaging the environment. It combines with some theoretical disciplines, for example preventing overfishing through a few techniques, like quota of fishing for individual, lowering the practices of illegal fishing. This can be done by implementation of related regulation and law, protected areas is created, restoring destructed fisheries and also organizing some campaigns and certification program. The main issue about sustainability is heavy fishing pressure, such as over exploitation and growth overfishing will cause the loss potential yield, stock structure will erode to the point where it loses diversity and resilience to environment fluctuation, and economic infrastructure and ecosystem will cycle between collapse and recovery.

The resource usage in political goal usually is the weak part in the system of fisheries management because both having different objective in fisheries management. The political objective are to maximize sustainable biomass and economic yield, increase the employment in certain areas, and also secure the supply of food and production of protein.

Ways to Reduce the Effect of Fishing Industries

One of the ways to reduce the effect of fishing industries is stopping the slaughter. WWF’s Global Marine Programmer is having cooperation relationship with all fisheries around the world with aim to reduce harm of ecosystem that caused by damaging and wasting fishing practices. They are focusing on work o f by catch since it was one of the greatest and most pervasive threats to the life in ocean. In the year of 2004, WWF created a Global By catch Initiative with respect to sustainable fisheries and species conservation. The initiative along with fishing industry, conservation organization, government and academia in searching the ways of reducing by catch and promote the ways to world. In order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing, the task includes combining conservation of fisheries management and strengthening fisheries policy, terminating the practices of destructive fishing and identifying selective fishing gear.

The second way is to stop overfishing. In order to stop overfishing, a key area of World Wildlife Fund’s work on sustainable fishing is engaging with the fishing industry and governments to improve fisheries management. World Wildlife Fund also pay attention on incorporating ecosystem-based management into the way of fisheries are managed, such as reduce capacity of fishing to the levels that can sustain the marine ecosystems, reduce fishing pressure to allow over-exploited fish populations to recover and ensure the maintenance of healthy populations. Other than that, fisheries policy should be strengthen and promote fairer Fisheries Partnership Agreements for fishing in foreign waters and reduce illegal fishing.

The following way is promoting sustainable seafood. World Wildlife Fund is promoting economic and consumer initiatives, and trade management measures that encourage sustainable fisheries. A main focus of work involves supporting the activities of the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent organization. It is recognizes via a certification programme, sustainable marine fisheries and their products. World Wildlife Fund established a Sustainable Seafood Choices project in 2005 to aim at the retail and market end of the seafood industry to support the MSC’s work. In partnership with other Non Government Organizations, the project combines advocacy, strategic partnerships, and communications to raise the profile of sustainable seafood products with consumers and markets, and provide guidance on their purchase.


In a nutshell, aquaculture will be one of the most feasible and practicable methods use to supply the demands of the world. But there are many challenges and difficulties for maintaining the profitability and environmental compatibility of aquaculture occurred. Many governments wish for the development, evolution and expansion of aquaculture which is concentrate and centralize on the economic growth. But some of the governments have started to enforce and actualize stricter regulatory recommendations addressing environmental and social issues to assure and fight on the sustainability of aquaculture.

Malaysia has made evolvement and development in the establishment of legal and regulatory scheme which are having a positive effect on aquaculture growth at the beginning and with the requirements that people also have to maintain the balance of ecosystems.

Fishing industries also play a significant role in contributed and fulfillment the various demands of people among the world. People can get sufficient and enough supply of fish at anytime and anyplace from global. Besides, it also provides a large number and potential jobs opportunity to the community and it will reduce unemployment eventually. Because of the high employment, income of the community and the income earn by country will increase and it will improve the quality of life directly.

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