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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Overview of Aquaculture

By Roy P. E. Yanong, VMD, Associate Professor and Extension Veterinarian, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida ; Ruth Francis-Floyd, DVM, MS, DACZM, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

Aquaculture is the production of marine and freshwater organisms under controlled conditions. Hundreds of different species of aquatic animals are raised in aquaculture and include fish and aquatic invertebrates cultured for food, the aquarium hobby, bait, recreational fisheries, research, private ponds, and stock enhancement of wild populations. Animal aquaculture was valued at $137.7 billion (USD) worldwide in 2012, with China’s production valued at $66 billion and the USA’s at $1 billion. Within the USA, major commercial commodities include channel catfish, centered around the Mississippi Delta; rainbow trout in the north/northwest, including Hagerman Valley, Idaho; Atlantic salmon in the Pacific northwest and Atlantic northeast; aquarium fish with production centered in Florida; baitfish in Arkansas; and goldfish and koi production scattered throughout the USA. In addition, other public and private entities, including research facilities, public aquaria, and hobbyists, are breeding numerous other species.