In West Germany representatives of 35 countries have been meeting at a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation conference on the future harvesting of food from the sea.
In West Germany representatives of 35 countries have been meeting at a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation conference on the future harvesting of food from the sea. The advanced development of aqua cultures was the main subject of the conference on Tuesday (20 June) and experts in the field say it is the most significant scientific event in the world dealing with fisheries research.
SYNOPSIS: The conference was held at the Congress Centre of the Hanseatic City, Hamburg. It was the tenth conference of the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, which is a regional commission of the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Speakers said the Chinese first developed the aqua culture method of specific fish breeding thousands of year ago, and now see a future for it in tropical countries.
At a new marine biology institute on the West German island of Helgoland, modern research is being done on aqua culture. Fish are bred in ponds, basins or cages to cover specific nutritional needs. After only a short time, the "fish farmer" can expect a Bumper harvest.
Meanwhile experiments are being run along the German Baltic coast, to study the breeding of fish in the waste waters of power plants. A major part of aqua culture is based around heat. heat enormously promotes the growth of the fish, guaranteeing high yields with minimal technical requirements. For the experiment fish cages are anchored in the heated power plant coolant water.
Checks on the cages are made at regular intervals and within a few months the hatchlings grow into large edible fish. In March a conference of Mediterranean states decide in favour of establishing extensive "fish farms" similar to this one in coastal regions. Today such farms produce about 4 million tons of fish annually, which is almost ten percent of the world-wide fish haul and scientists think that the answer to future food supplies lies in "fish farming".
At present aqua culture farmers are cultivating about 3 million hectares, with fish shrimp or algae. And according to FAO estimates this surface could increase by ten times by the turn of the century.