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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
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A cage designed for rough waters offshore
A cage designed for rough waters offshore
Courtesy of Farmocean

In addition to the biological resources (species and genetic material) it uses as seeds, live feeds (e.g. algae, Artemia) and broodstock, aquaculture depends on other resources such as land, water and feeds. Other resources such as solar radiation used as source of energy for primary productivity, will not be mentioned here as it is relatively unlimited.

Land and water

To date, aquaculture development has been restricted to water bodies on land, or to sea sites close to the coast, but with 70% of the earth's surface being covered by water, the potential for aquaculture to expand in the open ocean to help meeting future human food needs is considerable. On the continent and in coastal areas, land and water are in limited supply and aquaculture must compete directly or indirectly with other activities such as agriculture, hydropower, urban and coastal development, capture fisheries etc. The interaction with agriculture offers also, however, opportunity for synergies, developing aquaculture in irrigation canals or integrated with poultry farming or rice culture.

Aquafeeds resources

The growth of aquaculture production over the past decade has been accompanied in most developing and many developed countries toward increased use of artificially compounded feeds (aquafeeds) for farmed finfish and crustaceans, particularly with the progressive intensification of farming systems. As a consequence, the production of aquafeeds has been widely recognized as one of the fastest expanding agricultural industries in the world, with growth rates in excess of 30 percent per year.

Semi-intensive pond farming systems depend on the use of natural foods through proper pond fertilization using inorganic and organic fertilizers (compost made with plant and animal wastes, animal manure, or plant material) supplemented with prepared feeds. Prepared feeds range from grass or rice bran to formulated feeds based on aquatic and terrestrial plants, aquatic and terrestrial animals, plant processing residues, and animal-processing by-products.

 
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