Mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater. An example of the latter is the farming of marine fish, including finfish and shellfish e.g.prawns, or oysters and seaweed in saltwater ponds. Non-food products produced by mariculture include: fish meal, nutrient agar, jewelries (e.g. cultured pearls), and cosmetics.
Sea ranchingThe Japanese have developed a process for free ranching marine fish or sea ranching. The principle is based on behavioral conditioning and the migratory nature of certain species of marine fish. The fishermen first raise fish hatchlings in a closely knitted net in a harbor. They sound an underwater horn before each feeding. When the young fish are old enough they are freed from the net to mature in the open sea. During spawning season, about 80% of these fish return to their birthplace. The fishermen harvest the fish by sounding the horn and then raising the net.
Kelp can be farmed in at least two ways. They can be grown around a rope that is anchored to the sea floor the plants do not drift away. Off the coast of California, the top few feet of natural kelp beds are harvested by boats with mowers. Kelp provides alginin, an edible material used in ice cream and cosmetics. The industry also supplies the dietry supplement industry
Scientific literatureScientific literature on mariculture can be found in the following journals: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Aquaculture (Journal), Aquaculture Research, Journal of Marine Science, Marine Resource Economics, Ocean Shoreline Management, Journal of Applied Phycology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Journal of Phycology, Journal of Shellfish Research, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Reviews in Fisheries Science.
- Web based aquaculture simulations for shellfish in estuaries and coastal systems: Simulation modelling for mussels, oysters and clams.
- Mariculture guidelines and best practices: A coastal management perspective on mariculture development by the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center.
mariculture in German: Marikultur
mariculture in Romanian: Maricultură