Aquaculture in India, Types of Aquaculture – A Full Guide

Introduction: Hello potential aquafarmers today we are here with a great information of Aquaculture in India, Importance, Scope, Objectives and Types of Aquaculture. India offers a huge potential for aquaculture development. Aquaculture has been defined in several ways. It has been called the rearing of aquatic organisms under controlled or semi-controlled condition, therefore, it is underwater agriculture. Aquaculture has gained momentum throughout the world during recent decades which is unparalleled in other branches of food creation.

A step by step guide to Aquaculture in India

Aquaculture is most normally known for the production of food organisms such as fish, prawns, and shellfish. It is used in producing aquatic organisms for aquaria, fee-fishing, lake stockings, biological supply houses, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, etc.

Aquaculture species can be formed in marine or freshwater environments using various production systems. Aquaculture or aquafarming is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms in all types of water environments.

Aquaculture also called aqua farming is the farming of fish, crustaceans, Mollusca, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms. It involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture mainly refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and underwater habitats.

As the demand for seafood has increased, technology has made it possible to produce food in coastal marine waters and the open ocean. Aquaculture is a process used to produce food and other commercial products, restore habitat and replenish wild stocks, and rebuild populations of threatened and endangered species.

Main objectives achieved through aquaculture

The main objectives to be achieved through aquaculture are given below;

  • To be national and economy by a system of increasing per capital production for per capita consumption and per capita income.
  • To create employment opportunities.
  • To properly utilize the obtainable natural water resources.
  • To uplift the socio-economic status of the peoples and to earn foreign exchange.
  • To culture larrivorus fishes with an observation to control mosquito larvae fishes such as Gambusia and Poecilia pathobranchius.

You should not miss the Agricultural Startups in India.

The scope of Aquaculture in India

Scope of Aquaculture in India.
Scope of Aquaculture in India.

In addition to the high demand for seafood, there is a growing interest in sport fishing. Many public fisheries for recreational angling have had to decrease a creel limit that is fish legally allowed to be caught per day or imposed seasons for catching specific species of fish. More people are interested in fishing than nature can maintain. Consequently, numerous government, state and federal agencies generate fish in hatcheries to stock public waters for sport fishing. Thereby developing what is known as a put-grow-and-take fishery where small fish are stocked and allowed to produce, and they are harvested by hook and line.

The lakes or rivers where fish are stocked either do not have the individual species, or the systems cannot keep adequate reproduction. Through aquaculture, the angler could be provided with a recreational outlet that cannot have been available otherwise.

Aquaculture efforts can be used to save or restore an endangered or threatened species. These are special situations where, for various reasons, fish cannot reproduce in sufficient numbers, or the progeny do not survive well enough to keep themselves as a population. In cases such as these, broodstock of the endangered species are spawned in hatcheries, the baby fish are reared under controlled conditions until they are big enough to fend for themselves and then released into the natural environment.

Scope of Aquaculture can be explained below;

  • To increase the production for per capita consumption and per capita income by which national income will be higher.
  • Ornamental purpose like the culture of angelfish, black molly, red swordtail, blue gourami, and kissing gourami, etc.
  • Sports and game purpose for example culture of trouts and mahseers.
  • Utilization of by-products of fish like isinglass, pearl essence, fish liver oil, fish protein concentrate, and fish glue, etc.
  • Controlling parasites like mosquito larvae by larvicidal fishes that are Lebistes reticulatus, Gambusia affinis.
  • Utilization of medicinal added value of fishery products.

Types of Aquaculture

Based on the source, Aquaculture can be mainly classified into three categories. They are;

  • Freshwater aquaculture
  • Brackish water aquaculture
  • Mariculture
Freshwater Aquaculture

The freshwater aquaculture mainly deals with due to the culture of the organism in freshwater resources namely rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs, and ponds, etc. The aspects of breeding of the parent stock growing the seed, preparing the water source for culture, stocking, water management, post stocking management process, and harvesting are included. The types of organisms cultured include fishes, prawns, mussels, frogs, and aquatic plants, etc.

You may be interested in Starting a Broiler Chciken Farm in India.

Freshwater fish farms consist mainly of earth ponds or basins or canals constructed from concrete, where a continuous water flow-through is maintained from spring, stream, ground or drainage water circulated through airlift systems. There are a handful of fully recirculated aquaculture facilities, that produce more fish with less water and less pollution in closed facilities and India is rich with inland freshwater fish, with about 940 species well-known from its rivers and lakes.

Freshwater aquaculture is to raising and breeding aquatic animals that are fish, shrimp, crab, shellfish, etc. And also plants for economic purposes by the use of ponds, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, which plays an important role in the aquaculture industry.

Brackish water or Coastal aquaculture

Brackish aquaculture production in the country largely on account of shrimp farming is estimated that out of about 1.23 million ha recognized as potential areas for brackish water fish farming in the country of the total area, about 10% area is being farmed at present. Of this area, about 80% is under traditional farming systems and the remaining is under extensive farming and semi extensive shrimp farming. The main activities of shrimp farming on a commercial scale are taken up in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The traditional farming systems are mainly located in West Bengal and Kerala. Commercial shrimp farming is more than a decade old in India and both shrimp seed production and farming practices are based on technology imported mostly from South-east Asian countries.

The brackish water aquaculture is also called as Coastal aquaculture. The brackish water or coastal fish such as mullet and other fishes were cultured off the Italian coast by Romans long ago. Later culture of mullets, milkfish, and shrimp was tried in the states of Kerela, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. Soil and water quality for brackish water aquaculture is similar to freshwater aquaculture except for water salinity. Salinity represents the quantity of dissolved salt in a given unit of water and is generally expressed in g/kg of water. In brackish water ponds salinity generally ranges between 0.5% and 30% depending on the distance from the sea and seasonal variation due to monsoon precipitation.

Estuaries backwater creeks and lagoons are the major known stagnant brackish water. In these water fishes and the seed of milkfish, mullet, Elops, Megalops polynemus, Lates, Etroplus, tilapia shrimp are obtainable. The shrimp is used for the prawns available in the marine and brackish water sources while the term prawn is used for them in freshwater sources.

Mari Culture

The culture of the fishes and other organisms in marine backwaters, shallow bays in several aquaculture methods is referred to as Mariculture. The culture of Mussels is being done in some parts of the country like Kerala and Karnataka. In the sea, the fish aggregating devices are erected which are mainly referred to as Artificial reefs. The organic and inorganic matter attracts biological organisms such as barnacles to foul on these materials which in turn attracts small and big fishes.

In marine culture, the tidal influence, wave action, shallowness, and turbidity, etc., are to be taken into consideration as the structures that are cages, rafts, etc., may get washed off.

You may also check the Biofloc Technology in Aquaculture.

How to select a site for aquaculture in India

  • Proper site selection is the first step guaranteeing the eventual success of any aquaculture and forms the basis for the design, layout, and management. For fish ponds, particularly those to be used for brackish water aquaculture of high-value species like shrimps. Site selection is critical and should be given the utmost attention.
  • Soil quality preferably, clay-loam, or sandy-clay for water retention and suitability for diking; alkaline pH level 7 and above to prevent problems that result from acid-sulfate soils (for example poor fertilizer response; low natural food production and slow development of culture species; probable fish kills).
  • Land elevation and tidal characteristics; preferably with an average elevation that can be watered by ordinary high tides and drained by ordinary low tides; tidal fluctuation moderate at 2-3 m. (Sites where tidal fluctuation is large, say 4 m, are not appropriate because they would require very large, expensive dikes to prevent flooding during high tide. On the other hand, areas with slight tidal fluctuation, say 1 m, could not be drained or filled properly.)
  • water supply should be pollution-free and with a pH level of 7.8 to 8.5.
  • Readily accessible by land and water transport that are close to sources of inputs like feeds, fertilizers, fish ports, processing plants, and ice plants; and linked by communication facilities to main centers.
  • Availability of manpower for site construction and operation.

Water requirements for aquaculture

Aquaculture means farming the water, water sources are crucial mainly depending on the species and form of culture you engage in, and the water requirements will vary. Pond culture, for example, will need more water than tank culture, in which the water is recycled. Likewise, the ocean ranching the releasing of fish as juveniles for harvesting when they return as adults want open waters.

Aquaculture wants large amounts of water to physically support the farmed animals, replenish oxygen, and remove wastes. The impacts of aquaculture on the quantity and quality of water resources have direct impacts on aquatic biodiversity. Large amounts of water pass through cages and pens in the sea or lakes but there is no net removal from the system. It is very important to distinguish between water consumption and water withdrawal, the former implying that water diverted from streams, rivers or aquifers lost through evaporation or seepage, while in the latter water is returned to the environment to be restored. Consumptive water use in aquaculture has mostly impacted on the reduction in downstream freshwater flows and groundwater resources.

In land-based systems, aquaculture not only borrows water and also returning it in a more degraded form, although it consumes it or accelerates its loss from the surface to groundwater or the atmosphere. Thus, by creating ponds, particularly in areas of poor soils or high temperatures, evaporation and seepage are increased and 1 to 3% of the fish pond volume may be lost in this way each day. Such losses can be particularly significant in arid or semi-arid areas of the world, fish pond design and management practices have had to be changed to reduce surface water losses. Conversely, the incorporation of a fish pond into small rural farms has been shown to develop water conservation (by creating a water reservoir).

Salient Characters of Aquaculture in India

High Productivity – When compared to agriculture or veterinary practices, aquaculture is more productive.

Rural Development – Aquaculture mainly helps to integrate rural development by generating employment opportunities and thus help to arrest the exodus of population from rural to urban areas.

Intensive Fish Culture – In aquaculture, owing to the fish three-dimensional utilization of the water body can be crowded more closely and grown through a water recirculation system. Approximately, this gives a high yield of about 25 t/ha/year.

Recycling – Aquaculture gives efficient means of recycling domestic and agriculture wastes and thus, helps in protecting our environment.

Earning Foreign Exchange – Commercially important items, such as ornamental fishes, Artemia cysts, prawns, lobsters, crabs, and frog legs, etc., produced through aquaculture are highly valued and can earn good foreign exchange.

Importance of Aquaculture in India

Sustainable use of sea resources – Aquaculture system provides alternatives for fishing from the sea. An increase in demand for all food sources and an increase in globalization has led to an increase in fishing. Aquaculture provides both an alternative and an opportunity for wild stocks to replenish over time.

Conservation of Biodiversity – Aquacultures protect biodiversity by reducing the fishing activities on the wild stock in their ecosystems. By providing alternatives to fishing, there is a reduced attack on the wild populations of the different species in the sea. Reduced action of fishing will save the diversity of the aquatic ecosystem from extinction due to overfishing.

Increased Efficiency, more resources for less effort – Fish convert feed into body protein more capably than cattle or chicken production. It is more efficient meaning that the fish companies make more food for less feed. Such efficiency means that less food and energy is used to produce food, meaning that the production process is cheaper as well. It saves resources and even allows for more food to be formed leading to secure reserves and less stress on the environment.

Reduced Environmental Disturbance – By increasing aquaculture, there is a reduced need for the fishing of the wild stock. As an outcome, it puts less stress on the ecosystem and evenly reduces human interference.

You may be interested in Shade-loving Plants.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here