Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.
What is aquaculture?
Agriculture, the husbandry of crops and animals on land, is Ireland’s largest industry and contributes very signifi cantly to the domestic and export markets.
Aquaculture, the husbandry of animals and plants in aquatic environments, is also an important industry. Ireland has an abundance of aquatic environments suitable for aquaculture ranging from its extensive and varied coastline, to its abundant inland waterways.
Distinction between fishing and aquaculture
Many people do not realise that there is a difference between fishing and aquaculture, so it is important to distinguish between them.
Fishing is the harvesting of already existing populations of fish and other aquatic animals. (Seaweed harvesting is a separate activity.)
Aquaculture is the purposeful cultivation and subsequent harvesting of both freshwater and marine aquatic plants and animals. The cultivation of marine animals is by far the most important sector of aquaculture.
Components of Aquaculture
The variety of organisms cultivated is extensive (mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, trout and salmon) and production can be divided into two main areas.
Hatcheries and nurseries are scattered around the country producing a variety of juvenile organisms which are reared until they are big enough to be sold on. These immature organisms are grown on licensed aquaculture farms, they are also used in some cases to stock fish ponds and rivers (rainbow trout); to restock wild populations (sea urchins and brown trout).This is an integral part of conservation.