Companies in this industry raise fish, shellfish, other aquatic animals, or aquatic plants. No major companies dominate the industry.
The global aquaculture market totals about $100 billion. Asia is home to many of the world's largest aquaculture-producing nations, including China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. China dominates, accounting for about two-thirds of global production, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
The US aquaculture industry includes about 3,100 farms with combined annual revenue of about $1 billion.
Fishing in natural aquatic habitats is covered in the Commercial Fishing profile. Processing of both farmed and wild-caught fish is covered in the Seafood Processing profile.
Demand is driven primarily by trends in fish consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and protecting fish stock from death and disease. Large companies have advantages in vertically integrating operations from breeding to processing and packaging. Small farms, typically those that are family-owned, can compete effectively by specializing in unusual and high-end products or offering onsite fishing.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products include catfish; mollusks, such as clams and oysters; and trout. Other products include freshwater shrimp, salmon, ornamental tropical fish, and baitfish. Some farms specialize in fee-fishing, allowing fishing enthusiasts to catch and pay for pond-caught fish.
Farm-raised catfish are grown in open freshwater production systems, typically earthen ponds fed by groundwater. Salmon are hatched in fresh water and transferred to saltwater pens for final growout. Mollusk aquaculture is carried out...