Glossary of Aquaculture

This multidisciplinary glossary has been prepared by the Aquaculture Management and Conservation Service (FIMA) of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, under the coordination of Valerio Crespi.

The primary objectives of this glossary are

  1. to serve as a reference to fish farmers, consultants, administrators, policy makers, developers, engineers, agriculturists, economists, environmentalists and anybody interested in aquaculture; and
  2. to facilitate communication among experts and scientists involved in aquaculture research and development.

The glossary has been compiled in English by André Coche. It is primarily based on existing textbooks and glossaries, in particular those already prepared within the various Services of the FAO Fisheries and Agriculture Departments. Terms pertaining to specific aquaculture subject areas have been validated by the following internal and external FAO experts: James Muir, PingSun Leung, Mohammad R. Hasan, Alphis Ponniah, Yaraguntappa Basavaraju, Frans Teutscher, Melba Reantaso, James Kapetsky, Annick van Houtte-Sabatucci, Peter Edwards, Ulf Wijkström, Joel Van Eenennaam, Cécile Brugere and Hazme Akyol. Translations have been made from English to the other official FAO languages by André Coche (French), Ricardo Norambuena and Manuel Martinez Espinosa (Spanish), Abdel-Fattah M. El-Sayed and Magdy A. Saleh (Arabic) and Miao Weimin (Chinese).

The glossary is published both in hardcopy and on-line at the FAO website. Users are invited to send comments and suggestions by e-mail to

The on-line glossary is presented in the following format: terms, definitions, aquaculture subject areas, synonyms, related terms, images and information sources.

TermsThe glossary terms are presented in alphabetical order. In the case of multiple-word English terms, the main term (from the aquaculture point of view) has been selected and placed in front before being entered in the list in alphabetical order, such as for example "Catch basin" which is entered as "Basin, catch-". The same terms (e.g. Basin) are thus regrouped together. British English has been adopted rather than American English. Any alternative spelling, unusual plural form (pl.), and/or the generally accepted abbreviation/acronym are given in parentheses whenever required.
DefinitionsThe suggested definitions have been selected from available published information, priority being given to published FAO definitions whenever possible. Multiple meanings of a same term are differentiated by placing (a), (b), (c), etc. either behind the term [e.g. Bank (a), Bank (b)] or within the definition as for instance for the term "Barrage". The former way is used when a term has different meanings in other languages.
Related termsRelated terms are also defined in the glossary. They also include antonyms, terms which mean the opposite of the term itself, such as for example "alkaline" being related to "acid".
SynonymsSynonyms are different terms with the same or similar meaning.
Subject areasTwenty-one broad aquaculture subject areas have been defined. Each term has been classified in one of these areas.
Information sourcesThe information source(s) from which each definition has been obtained is provided for each term.
ImagesWhenever available, clickable images are presented in thumbnail format.

- Abbreviations and acronyms - Measurement units - Aquaculture Subject Areas

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