Promise of Tropical Marine Aquaculture


Our mission as aquaculture scientists is to promote sustainable and responsible aquaculture practices. Experiences in coastal aquaculture, Coimbra ed. 2001, gained during the last decades from many tropical regions around the globe have created the public's current ecological, socio-economic, and political awareness of aquaculture. Practically now, the only way forward is with aquaculture that is "politically correct", or in others words: environmentally sustainable, ecosystem-wide responsible, and socio-econo-politically acceptable.


Link to FAO report on Sustainable Aquaculture in the Lesser Antilles (Report with examples relevant for many tropical regions, especially in the Americas) FAO Fish Report no. 704 (complete report pdf)


Having said that, we believe that the huge promise of tropical marine aquaculture lies not just in the production of high value marine finfish on an industrial scale, but that it lies in the aquaculture of a vast array of aquatic organisms from lower trophic levels as well as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, see also Industry can save the world


The potential of sustainable economies that can be created with tropical aquaculture of all size scales, from Mom & Pop shops to industrial production, ranging from organisms such Seaweeds , i.e. Macro-algae), and Micro-algae unicellular auto- & heterotrophs, Protozoans (unicellular heterotrophs, esp. Ciliates Bacteria and Yeasts (unicellular auto- & heterotrophs), Molluscs , Gastropods, i.e. Conch, Clams, Oysters, Scallops, Cephalopods, , i.e. Squid and Octupus, Sea Cucumbers, , and Sea Urchins), Crustaceans (i.e. Copepods, Shrimps, e.g. Cleaner Shrimp,, Crabs, i.e. Blue Crab , and Lobster, i.e. Spiny Lobster , Herbi-/Detriti-/Omni-vorous fishes (e.g. Mullets Mojarras , and hundreds of marine ornamental fish species , is enormous.


The potential of aquaculture for development (see "Changing the Face of the Waters. The promise and challenge of sustainable aquaculture" World Bank 2007 is just beginning to be disseminated and be received by the economists responsible for these countries (most of them are developing countries) that lie in the belt of coastal tropical (aquatic) productivity.


Culture of Tropical Marine Organisms

Summarizing from our mission statement, Sciencefish views coastal aquaculture as an essential component of tropical coastal zone management that can develop sustainable economies by promiting employment, trade and services. It has also synergies with existing economies and services of fisheries, shipping, seafood, cold storage, processing, transport logistics, international relations & law, sales & marketing, research & educational, health & veterinary, and environmental services. There are some marine aquatic organisms whose culture is already important economically (to be continued...).


The potential of many species has not been realized in many areas of the world. Compared to Southeast-Asia, aquaculture in the Americas and Africa constitudes only a very small fraction of the per capita productivity in these areas. While mentionable exceptions to this fact in the Americas are Chile's salmon aquaculture industry and the marine shrimp industry in Central to South America, i.e. Mexico to Ecuador/Brazil, aquaculture development projects in most of these areas warrant serious consideration and we strongly believe that coastal aquaculture can provide significant benefits to societies in these regions.


As for agriculture, aquaculture constitutes essentially a knowledge-based Bio- or Agri-business. And here lies one of its great promises, unlike almost any other human activity, aquaculture requires, in order to be successful (!), an intense and un-interrupted attention and understanding of the environmental factors that sourround the organism(s) in aquatic culture.


By promoting aquaculture, the need for a trained work-force is bound to promote educational services that will range from training hatchery and growout technician to creation of aquaculture curricula in local high-schools, colleges, and universities. The "promise of aquaculture", as aquaculture and other scientiest from many disciplines have realized, is that "Aquaculture is a very effective and valuable tool to teach science to young and old !" (to be continued...).


For South Florida and the Caribbean we suggest

Queen Conch Aquaculturewith hatchery production of juveniles and ranching in local seagrass beds. Two criteria are important, first is considering and conserving the integrity of the genetic resource of the native conch species by using local broodstock. IN FAO Technical Paper 217: "Conservation of the Genetic Resources of Fish:Problems and Recommendation"




Fish breeders should be concerned for the continuing fitness (viability, vigour, fecundity) of their stocks, and should maintain the effective population size, Ne, of the stocks at 50 or more for short-term breeding and culture programmes, and much more (ca. 500) for the protection of genetic variability within lines."


>We suggest to begin with a size of an effective or breeding population of about 100 individuals to provide the initial genetic resource base for the aquatic restocking or stock enhancement program. The second criterium involves the ecenomics of conch hatchery juvenile production, ranching or stock enhancement, harvesting and marketing (to be continued...).




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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited...while imagination embraces the entire world..." Einstein


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