What is aquaculture?
Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants. It can include either saltwater or freshwater species. Saltwater aquaculture is often practiced using underwater cages or net pens located in the ocean. Freshwater aquaculture can also be performed in this manner using in natural lakes and rivers. However, it is more often practiced using specially created ponds or tanks that are created on land. This form of inland aquaculture represents about 60% of all aquaculture and is the fastest growing sector of the industry.
Aquaculture is new to many people, but it has been practiced for eons. The earliest known, large-scale aquaculture operations date back to 6000 BC. Aquaculture has had a prominent role in various societies throughout history. It’s Its popularity in modern times has been a result of necessity. Depleted wild fish stocks combined with Earth’s ever-growing population has put aquaculture at the center of today’s global food economy.
Aquaculture is often cited as the only sustainable means of increasing the seafood supply to meet the food needs of the world’s growing population. While aquaculture does take pressure off depleted wild fish stocks, it is not inherently eco-friendly. Effort, expertise, and technology must be invested in an aquaculture operation to ensure that it is practiced in a controlled, environmentally-sustainable manner.
Why is aquaculture important?
Aquaculture today plays key roles with regard to food security as well as with environmental and economic sustainability. Wild fish stocks have been struggling to keep up with demand since the 1990’s. Over that ime time, aquaculture has grown expanded rapidly to fill the gap. That steady growth has helped ensure global food security, kept the overall price of fish down, and made fish and seafood more accessible to consumers around the world. This trend is expected to increase for the foreseeable future.
Although most people are unaware of it, today over 50% of all the seafood consumed globally comes from aquaculture. This is important to the environment because the increased consumption of sustainably-farmed fish takes pressure off wild fish stocks and allows them to recover. Economically it is important because aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of the food industry and already employs millions of people around the world. Over the next two decades millions of additional jobs are forecast to be created by aquaculture, particularly in developing nations.
What is tropical aquaculture?
Tropical Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms in the tropics. This tyoe type of aquaculture typically involves different opportunities and challenges than does non-tropical aquaculture (e.g. salmon farming). It is also an important sector of the aquaculture industry, especially since most of the aquaculture growth over the next two decades is predicted to occur in tropical regions. Since Vinh Aquaculture has 20 twenty years experience in tropical aquaculture, we can offer the most value in this sector.
What is a “low trophic” fish and why are they important?
In layman’s terms, “Low Trophic” means an organism is low on the food chain. FisheriesFishery scientist Daniel Pauly has set the values of trophic levels from 2 to 5 for different species based on what food they eat and at what trophic level their that food is classified. For example, predatory species that mostly eat other predatory species (like such as killer whales) are on the top of the food chain and thus have a high trophic rating score. Species that eat mostly plants (like such as carp) would be at a lower level. Species that eat mainly plankton or algae (like such as oysters) would be even lower.
The mean trophic levels of the fish being caught commercially around the world has been in steady decline for decades. This is because high trophic fish like tuna, cod, salmon, and swordfish are highly prized and, in turnbecause of this, have been overfished. One way to take pressure off high trophic fish stocks without reducing overall global seafood consumption is to shift global consumption habits to include more low trophic fish species. This is important to tropical aquaculture since it is ideally suited for the sustainable cultivation of low-trophic species, such as pangasius.
One of the challenges faced by the aquaculture industry is to educate the public about responsible aquaculture and to help generate demand for farmed species of low.trophic fish. At the same time, the aquaculture producers must keep up withon top of consumer trends and market demands to ensure that they are able to offer relevant products that meet worldwide consumer expectations. This is an important part of the guidance that Vinh Aquaculture offers its clients.
Is Vinh Aquaculture part of a larger organization?
Yes. Vinh Aquaculture is a division of Vinh Hoan, a globalan international sustainable aquaculture company. Vinh Hoan is divided organized into three divisions. Each division represents a different aspect of the company’s sustainable aquaculture business:
- Vinh Foods – Providing premium seafood from sustainable aquaculture.
- Vinh Aquaculture – Helping advance sustainable tropical aquaculture with a combination of research, development, education, and on-site training.
- Vinh Wellness – Providing premium wellness products derived from sustainable aquaculture.
Vinh Hoan believes that consumers should not never have to choose between feeding their family and sustaining the environment. We believe both are possible if aquaculture can beis developed in a manner that is both environmentally and economically sustainable. Meeting this challenge is the goal of every employee at Vinh Hoan and is the focus of our work and innovation across each of our three divisions.