This particular branch of applied biology seems to throw light on our obvious responsibility towards the water ecosystems. Aqua farming, or more popularly, aquaculture should not be confused with the shallow definition of fishing as the former involves a sophisticated manner of breeding and culturing marine as well as freshwater organisms in controlled environments. This is a practice to prevent their extinction and simultaneously to match the fast growing fishery needs of the human population.
Aqua farming can be conveniently divided into sub-types depending upon the type of organisms being cultured. Alga culture is specifically breeding of the commercially important green algae, such as seaweeds. The culturing of fishes is simply referred to as fish farming. Likewise there are other subdivisions such as prawn farming, Mari culture (which looks after the market needs arising from marine organisms), shrimp culture etc. Another very interesting offshoot of the aqua farming is the integrated aquaculture in which very efficiently the waste of one species is made to act as an input for another.
A glance on history would reveal that aquaculture is an age-old practice that existed in the Chinese Dynasty during the B.C period; the Hawaiians also had their own method of fish farming to serve their protein needs. In the present age, the practice has a more significant global role to play as is evident from its contribution to the international fisheries production. It accounts for about 32% of the 140.5 million tons of total world production.
Aqua farming is not entirely perfect and can have adverse effects on the hydrosphere in general. The breeding of fishes has to be done keeping mind the amount of fish waste that may be produced and which may irreparably contaminate the surroundings.
But the pros of aquaculture clearly outweigh the cons and thus the branch stands a positive alternative to the snowballing problems of our water ecosystems.