Natural Resources - Living Resources - Aquaculture and Mariculture Terms

Aquaculture Terms and Definitions

Aquaculture - " the propagation and rearing of aquatic organisms (both marine and freshwater) in controlled or selected aquatic environments for any commercial, recreational, or public purpose. Potential purposes of aquaculture include bait production, wild stock enhancement, fish cultures for zoos and aquaria, rebuilding of populations of threatened and endangered species, and food production for human consumption" (NOAA Aquaculture Policy, 1998).

Aquaculture Biotechnology - The use of an aquaculture organism to make a product or run a process. Different aquatic organisms, both animal and plant, are used in industry, farm animal and aquaculture feeds, medicinal treatments, wastewater treatment, and the recycling of gas products. (Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center).

Baitfish - Fish used for bait such as fathead minnows, golden shiners, and feeder goldfish (USDA Census of Aquaculture 2005).

Broodstock - Sexually mature aquatic animals used to produce progeny that may be incorporated into an aquaculture production system. (USDA).

Farm Gate Value - The unprocessed value excluding the costs of packaging or transport of the aquaculture product to its first point of sale (Alaska DFG).

Finfish - A term used to distiquish true fish, having fins and gills, from shellfish, crayfish, jellyfish.

Fingerlings - Young fish larger than fry but not yet an adult (USDA).

Mariculture - Ocean-based aquaculture or the production of marine organisms in coastal waters or in the open ocean.

Miscellaneous - includes ornamental/tropical fish, alligators, algae, aquatic plants, eels, scallops, crabs and others. The high value and low production of miscellaneous occurs because production value, but not weight, are reported for many species such as ornamental fishes.

Ocean Ranching - A type of fish farming where juvenile fish are released into the ocean to grow unprotected and unassisted to be harvested in the future (FAO).

Shellfish - Aquatic animals with shells, e.g., crustaceans (prawns, lobsters) and mollusks (e.g., oysters, scallops, clams). (

updated 22-Aug-2007