The earliest recorded evidence of aquaculture was 900 B.C. However, for most species of fish, scarcities due to overfishing in the late 1900s provided adequate incentive to domesticate aquatic plants and animals. Technologies developed rapidly, and aquaculture industries have grown rapidly through the 1990s (Fig. 1).
China leads the world in aquaculture production. With the exception of Chile, the top 10 countries in world aquaculture production are all Asian countries.1-2-1 Most of these (with the exception of Japan) are lesser-developed nations. The majority of aquaculture production consists of a mixture of carp species raised for family and local consumption. However, aquaculture has increasingly become a source of foreign exchange through export. The United States alone imported $18.5 billion worth of edible and nonedible fisheries products in 2001.
Once envisioned as a blue revolution that would save the world from starvation, aquaculture has come under increasing criticism from environmentalists who allege biological, organic, and chemical pollution; habitat modification; and use of fish protein as a feed ingredi-ent. Like other forms of agriculture supporting human life, aquaculture modifies the natural environment and has the potential to degrade it.[4-
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