(aquaculturewithoutborders.blog) . The driving force in aquaculture development is multifaceted based on its ultimate goal- either economic gain, foods security and proper nutrition. Players in this field range from commercial producers, rural folk and venture capitalists.
The unprecedented interest in aquaculture has been occasioned by the significant increase in demand for seafood products and paradigm shift in eating habits as far as protein sources are concerned. In recent years many organization have drummed support for better nutrition and to alleviate malnutrition in rural communities while those with huge capital continue the expansive endeavors to meet global demand. In the long run the common denominator is that, all players in aquaculture industry have different targets- economic gain or proper nutrition.
In the economic sense, to match the huge demand for seafood in major importing countries, massive investments have been channeled towards expensive , expansive and super intensive aquaculture systems – ocean or land based. Mariculture development is now taking a center stage as the next frontier because of limited land and land use restrictions especially in EU and North America. If it’s not yet happening, it’s not long before investors start leasing foreign EEZ for aquaculture development.
Marine based aquaculture is gaining momentum because of sustainability challenges in land based system however the future is uncertain because sustainability issues haven’t fully been addressed on open sea systems. On the other hand this industry in quite lucrative however investors are reluctant to venture in because of lack of enough experts, technical know-how and assurance in returns. With all these uncertainties a aquaculture is still expanding at an incredible rate.
Decades ago, aquaculture was confined to only extensive systems but now we have RAS, Intensive pond systems, Super intensive systems , cage culture and so on. Therefore aquaculture has made remarkable strides to get where it is, and still game on.