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Aquaculture

Aquaculture is a branch of agriculture focused on the commercial production of aquatic plants and animals. Read this article to learn more about the field of aquaculture as well as relevant education and career options.

Inside Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the cultivation of fresh and saltwater plants and animals, primarily for food consumption but also for recreation purposes. It includes the production of commercially popular plants and animals like mollusks, shrimp, tilapia and salmon to meet growing food demands. These commercial species are grown in natural and man-made aquatic environments, such as self-contained systems or open net pens in larger bodies of water, like ponds, lakes and coastal areas. Aquaculture professionals develop sustainable practices to ensure sufficient supplies of commercially grown species that also meet environmental and economic needs. They must closely monitor water conditions and species development for signs of disease to ensure the safe and healthy production of seafood.

Education Information

Aquaculture specialists receive hands-on training either on the job or through degree programs. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as certificates, are widely available in the field of aquaculture and closely related areas of study, such as fisheries management, aquatic biology or natural resource management with concentrations in aquaculture. Doctoral programs are less common but do exist as interdivisional programs of study or in related fields with concentrations in aquaculture. Programs are offered through colleges of agriculture, fisheries or marine sciences.

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