Definition of Mariculture
Mariculture is a branch of aquaculture in which aquatic species are raised within the marine environment. Over a generation ago, Jacques Cousteau shared his vision of how controlled production of aquatic species via mariculture must replace hunting of the sea for long-term sustainability and food security. The need for protecting the ocean’s remaining populations is even greater today. Fortunately, there have been tremendous advances in mariculture. Oceans, estuaries, and even man-made marine environments are being used to farm shrimp, prawns, crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, abalone, sea urchins, sea cucumber, kelp, and a large variety of finfish. However, most production of marine species occurs near shore and even on-shore. There is promise that technologies and permits will soon allow mariculture to move far off-shore into the open ocean, which would open vast areas for expansion and move farms further away from more sensitive coastal environments.