Aquaculture is the farming process of aquatic organisms such as fish, mollusks, crustaceans and other aquatic flora and fauna species. Farming involves particular interventions in the rearing process such as feeding, regular stocking, protection from predators, etc. to increase production. As per product requirements; fresh, marine and brackish water environments are some available options utilized for aquaculture.
Market segmentation has been done by culture environment, product type, and geography. Key drivers of this market are increasing awareness about various health benefits of seafood and its rising consumption. Shortage of naturally available varieties due to extensive fishing is expected to fuel the market demand for cultured varieties. Aquaculture market has been witnessing growth in terms of increasing urbanization and increasing the income of individuals which has lead to the increase in consumption of protein rich meats. Being a fairly new and unconventional method of fish breeding for consumption, its market acceptance is low. Disease management and feed supply are other challenges faced by this market. Some environmental concerns which should be taken care include water flow considerations, parasites, pollution from effluents, handling escapees and unhealthy culture conditions. The demand for premium quality products has been increasing not only due to freshness, diversity of products and concern and convenience for food safety but also due to social, ethical and environmental credentials. Rice-fish culture has been considered as the key growing opportunity of this market. This technique is considered a good way for rice and fish cultivations cumulatively since fish get a safe living environment in dense rice plants. In exchange, fish provide protection to rice from insects and circulate oxygen around the farm.
Fresh water is one of the leading culture environment segments on account of imitation of freshwater environments in ponds, concrete raceways, and cages. Marine water aquaculture refers to raising marine animals such as salmon, oysters, shrimp, and mussels. Different methods of marine aquaculture include sea ranching, intensive aquaculture, and rack & line farming. Election of these methods depends on the type of shellfish or fish one plans to grow. Sea ranching is the process practiced in the native environment to raise the farmed animals. Intensive aquaculture is the most labor intensive form of aquaculture. In this process, animals are farmed in sea cages or pens and feed is provided externally by farmers. Rack & line farming is the process to cultivate juveniles in plastic mesh bags that are hung from lines suspended between plastic and wooden posts in the intertidal region of the seashore.
Carp is one of the leading product segments in this market. Carps are cultivated in the fresh water environment and are one of the majorly cultivated aquatic species in this market owing to their compatibility with lesser ideal environmental conditions. Crustacean is a high-value product due to high protein content. This has increased the demand of crustacean to satisfy the requirement of nutritional seafood. Mackerel is considered as a significant fish food being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which is required to balance metabolism. Salmon is considered to be healthy due to its high content of protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Mollusks have become an important product owing to their high use in rice and fish farming and easy to cultivate. Sea bass and sea bream are a rich source of phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin B6 and selenium; having a low content of calorie and hence preferred by those who choose low-calorie diet.
China is the leading market for aquaculture and is expected to witness rapid growth due to cheap labor, appropriate climatic conditions, and availability of natural resources in this region. Asia Pacific (excluding China) accounts to be the second largest market and is expected to boost demand for aquaculture owing to technological innovations in this region. Also, development in cultivation as per regional climatic condition is expected to fuel the growth of aquaculture market globally.
The demand of aquaculture market is primarily driven by domestic trends in fish consumption. Profitability of individual companies depends on efficient measures considered for the operation and protection of stock fish disease and death. Big giants have an advantage of the integrated operational process from breeding to packaging. Another factor which may affect the market is export and import policies. This may create an opportunity for one and challenge to some another region due to varying nation wise export-import policies.
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