Animal Husbandry

Ocean Farming: The Future Saviour

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi
ocean
Ocean Farming

With the rise in global warming, an unexpected victim has been agriculture. Long periods of drought or flash floods have affected the way of farmers. But innovation has always been the key to tackle these problems. Ocean farming or Aquaculture is now being touted as a possible alternative to improve agriculture and reduce the burden on lands.

What is Ocean Farming?

Ocean farming is using a part of the ocean to harvest seaweed, fish, shellfish, or other types of algae. The demand for seafood has increased in recent years and thus it has prompted many farmers to indulge in it. For a country like India, the problem has been that most of the farmers employ the same methods to grow the same types of crops and thus avenues like aquaculture remain unexplored.

Varieties

Many varieties come under Ocean Farming and are being adopted in different parts of the world.

  • Seaweed Farming: One of the fastest rising ocean industries has been the Seaweed industry According to a report by World Bank the seaweed industry was estimated to be around $ 6 billion and which is expected to more than double in the coming years. Even the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) recently concluded a project where it trained fishermen in Seaweed Farming.

  • Oysters: One of the oldest forms of Ocean farming has been oyster farming. The famous varieties of Oysters are Eastern Oyster, Pacific Oyster, Sydney rock Oyster.

  • Kelp: It is a form of algae that grows on rocky surfaces and can grow to up to 250 feet in length making it the world’s largest marine plant in the world. It is extensively used in toothpaste, pharmaceuticals, dairy products, and frozen food.

  • Red Algae: Used as a source of dietary protein for thousands of years Red Algae have become an important harvesting crop. Red Algae are rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and antioxidants and is used to treat bad cholesterol and high sugar.

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Ocean Farming Varieties

The use of Ocean Farming has been limited in the country as farmers have not been made fully aware of its benefits and more importantly its ability to provide sustainable income for years. However, with the government’s aim to double farmers' income activities like this have to be taken up on a large scale. The NITI Aayog in its report “Doubling Farmers’ Income” has said that the diversification in Agriculture activities must be taken up by the farmers with adequate support from the government.

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