As stated by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, shellfish, and plants. It began in the United States in the 1960's with extensive research and production of catfish in the southeast. Aquaculture can take place in a man made or natural environment, just as agriculture can. Using proven techniques and technologies, researchers and the aquaculture industry are growing, producing, culturing, and farming marine species (Global Aquaculture Alliance). Consumers today are changing to a more health conscious diet which adds to the popularity of aquaculture. Aquaculture is a main source of the world's seafood supply. In just a few decades, it has gone from a mostly local activity to a globalized industry. Figures provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that aquaculture has increased in importance, with a global growth rate outstripping that of livestock meat production by a factor of two to four.
It currently supplies more than 50% of the fish and shellfish consumed worldwide. Farmed fish production has grown from producing under a million metric tons in 1950 to almost 60 million metric tons in 2005 (FAO). There is also the meat industry's use of fish products. According to an annual review of Environment and Resources, the livestock industry consumed nearly 20% of all fish caught for fish additives in 2005 (Ethicurean). There are currently no labels required to show this but consumers continue to push for labels to be required when food contains fish additives.
The demand for seafood has grown as U.S. consumers increasingly accept it as an alternative to red meat. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week for the omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. According to the National Marine...