Most Commonly Cultured Species

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is one of the most-produced fish in the global aquaculture industry, with Norway and Chile being two of the largest producers. In 1980, only 10,000 tonnes were produced globally, but by 2010 it is expected that over 2 million tonnes will be produced.[1] Marine net pens are the most commonly used culture system, and production reached 1.4 million tonnes in 2002.

Bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) are native to the lowland rivers of China and feed principally on zooplankton (although they do eat larger phytoplankton and detritus) in the upper layer of water in a pond. Bighead carp are typically cultured in ponds and can grow rapidly, although growth is dependent upon the fertility of the water, or the quality and amount of prepared food. Generally, bighead carp are not directly fed a diet, and they are cultured extensively with other carp species. Production for 2002 was approximately 1.75 million tonnes.

Catla (Catla catla) is one of the three Indian major carps that are commercially cultured in India and the Indian subcontinent. India is the second largest carp producer in the world, next only to China, and produces approximately 1.7 million tonnes of India major carps each year. Catla are mostly grown in freshwater ponds; however, some brackish water ponds have been used to successfully grow catla in India. Production in 2002 was approximately 546,000 tonnes (personal communication; Dr. B.B. Jana, India).

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are the most widely cultured fish in the United States, representing approximately 50% of that country's aquaculture industry (roughly $600,000 a year). Channel catfish are a popular finfish and are most often grown in ponds, although small farmers can grow the fish successfully in cages. It may not be unreasonable to state that more is known of the nutrient requirements of the channel catfish than any other fish species in the world. Production is estimated to be 305,000 tonnes in 2003.[2]

Fig. 1 (A) The percentage of major groups of cultured organisms and plants in 2000 2002 (by weight). The total amount of cultured products was 45.7 million tonnes. (B) The percentage of value represented by the major groups of cultured organisms and plants in 2002. Total value was $56.5 billion. (Data adapted from FAO, accessed August 2003.)

Fig. 1 (A) The percentage of major groups of cultured organisms and plants in 2000 2002 (by weight). The total amount of cultured products was 45.7 million tonnes. (B) The percentage of value represented by the major groups of cultured organisms and plants in 2002. Total value was $56.5 billion. (Data adapted from FAO, accessed August 2003.)

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a member of the family Cyprinidae and is the third most commonly produced fish in global aquaculture. In 2002, approximately 2.9 million tonnes were produced, with a value of $2.8 billion. China is the largest single producer of common carp. Common carp are traditionally cultured in ponds or rice paddies. However, more intensive culture systems have been used recently including irrigation ponds, flow-through raceways, and net pens. In the past, low-cost supplemental diets have been fed to carp, but as production has intensified, especially in China, more complete diets are being fed so as to maximize growth and production yields.

Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) is another Chinese carp, and most food-fish production of this fish occurs in China, where 1.5 million tonnes were produced in 2002. As in most carp production, ponds are used for grow-out of the fish, generally in polyculture with other carp species. Crucian carp feed on plants, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates.

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), also called white amur, is the most commonly produced fish in the world. It is one of the Chinese carps and is native to large rivers in China and Siberia, such as the Yangtze and Amur, respectively. It has been extensively cultured in ponds in China, but Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong also grow grass carp commercially. It is a hearty fish that consumes many species of aquatic vegetation. In some countries where grass carp is not native, concern over the adverse environmental impact that grass carp could cause if established in the wild has led to the fish being banned from pond stocking, unless they are certified triploid (triploid grass carp cannot reproduce). Production in 2002 was approximately 3.75 million tonnes.

Milkfish (Chanos chanos) is an important food fish in several countries in the Indo-Pacific region (principally the Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan). Herbivorous by nature, milkfish can consume prepared diets and can tolerate a wide range of salinities (0 150 ppt). Milkfish are most commonly grown in ponds or cages. Production in 1999 was approximately 460,000 tonnes.[3]

Fig. 2 (A) The percentage of total aquaculture production in 2000 2002, by country. (B) The percentage of value of cultured products in 2000, by country. (Data adapted from FAO, accessed August 2003.)

Fig. 3 The percentage of total finfish production in 2000 2002 (23 million tonnes) that were comprising various species groups. There are five major groups represented: carps, tilapias, salmonids, trout, and channel catfish. All other fish species cultured in the world are represented by Other. (Data adapted from FAO, accessed August 2003.)

Fig. 3 The percentage of total finfish production in 2000 2002 (23 million tonnes) that were comprising various species groups. There are five major groups represented: carps, tilapias, salmonids, trout, and channel catfish. All other fish species cultured in the world are represented by Other. (Data adapted from FAO, accessed August 2003.)

Mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) is another of the Indian major carps (see Catla), and production in 2002 was approximately 517,000 tonnes (personal communication; Dr. B.B. Jana, India). Mrigal are mostly grown in ponds and consumed locally within India.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is an euryha-line fish species that primarily inhabits fresh water. They can adapt to seawater once they reach the juvenile stage (approx. 100 g) by gradually increasing the salinity of the culture water. Rainbow trout is the most widely cultured trout in the world, being grown in the United States, Canada, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, and Chile. In Chile, rainbow trout are grown in marine cages, whereas in most other countries, including Chile, they are grown in fresh water using raceways (a flow-through water supply). France, Chile, Denmark, and Italy accounted for approximately 50% of global production in 1995, while the United States accounted for 7 8% of global production. Production worldwide in 2000 was approximately 326,000 tonnes.

Rohu (Labeo rohita) is another of the Indian major carps (see Catla), and production in 2002 was 567,000 tonnes (personal communication; Dr. B.B. Jana, India). Rohu are produced in earthen ponds and mostly consumed locally (within India).

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) is the food fish with the second-highest production of any cultured finfish species in the world. The majority of production occurs in China, although Japan and Poland grow a very small percentage (<2%) of the global supply. For the most part, silver carp are produced, sold, and consumed in

China. Ponds are the principal culture method for silver carp, generally in polyculture with other carp species. Silver carp filter phytoplankton from the water, but they can eat zooplankton and prepared diets. Production in 2002 was approximately 3.5 million tonnes.

Tilapia are a group of fish species that are the second-largest group of farmed finfish in the world (behind carp and ahead of salmon), with an annual growth rate of about 10% per year. There are two genera that compose the cultured tilapias: Tilapia, which spawn on substrate and are generally macrophagous feeders, and Oreochromis, which are mouth-brooders and microphagous feeders. The species most commonly cultured are Nile tilapia (Oreo-ochromis niloticus), of which 1.3 million tonnes were produced in 2002; Blue tilapia (O. aureus); Mossambique tilapia (O. mossambicus); and hybrid (Red) tilapia (O. niloticus x O. aureus). Tilapia are generally cultured in ponds, but large floating cages are also a successful culture method. Tilapia are grown in many countries throughout the world, with some of the largest production occurring in South and Central America. China is the largest single producer.

CONCLUSION

The 13 fish species (or groups) described in this chapter represent approximately 82% of the total global fish production. These species will continue to be the massive foundation of global aquaculture production into the foreseeable future.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank Michelle Coyle for typing this manuscript; and B. R. Lee, Sam Wise, and D. R. Wynn for technical assistance.

REFERENCES

1. Storebakken, T. Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar. In Nutrient Requirements and Feeding of Finfish for Aquaculture; Webster, C.D., Lim, C., Eds.; CAB International Publishing: Wallingford, United Kingdom, 2002; 79 102.

2. Harvey, D. Aquaculture outlook. Aquac. Mag. 2003, 29 (4), 28 34.

3. Bagarinao, T. Ecology and Farming ofMilkfish; SEAFDEC, Aquaculture Department: Tigbaun, Iloilo, Philippines, 1999; 1 171.

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