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Mariculture is the cultivation of marine organisms in their natural environment.

Mariculture also includes the growing of marine organisms in seawater but not in their natural environments. An example of this is the growth of marine fish[?], prawns and oysters in sea water ponds[?]

By definition, mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture.

The Japanese have developed a clever process for free ranching marine fishes. The principle is based on behavioral conditioning[?] and the migratory nature of certain species of marine fishes. The fishermen first raise fish hatchlings in a closely knitted net in a harbor. They sound a underwater honk before each feeding. When the young fishes are old enough, the fishes are freed from the net. The fishes grow up in the open sea. During spawning season, these fishes return to their birthplace. The fishermen harvest the fishes by sounding the honk and then raise the net.

Mariculture should not be limited to food production only. Cultured pearl should be considered a product of mariculture.

[Are seaweed grown as a mariculture process? I am no expert in this topic. Someone please correct any error. Japanese eat substantial amounts of seaweed of many species.]

Off the coast of California, the top few feet of natural kelp beds are harvested by boats with mowers. Kelp provides alginin, an edible material used in ice cream and cosmetics.

See also: agriculture, food

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