Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Not just dogfish and catfish, sea horses and sea cows – Domestic marine species on the increase

24.04.2007
Common perception would make us believe that domestication of land animals has been very successful, however when compared to the rapid increase in the numbers of marine species becoming domesticated these perceptions may change.

“Domestication has had a higher success rates in the sea relative to that seen in the long history of land species’ domestication” states Dr Marianne Holmer, one of the MarBEF authors from the Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, in a new research paper released in Science entitled ‘Rapid Domestication on Marine Species’.

This modest success in the domestication of land animal species can be attributed partly to the lower diversity of suitable land species compared to the marine environment and the reduced geographical range of terrestrial domestication.

Taming the wild

The first records of domestication of animals and plants, for human food go back 11,000 years. The taming of wild plants and animals by humans for breeding, food and protection was initially focused on land species. This practice quickly led to a surge in domestication of land species within 9,000 years of its initiation. However, since the industrial revolution the increase in new domestic plant and animal species has been modest with approximately 3% of the species presently cultivated on land haven been domesticated.

Pastures new

There are several reasons for this contrast between the success in the domestication of land and marine animal species. First, land domestication has drawn largely from mammals and birds, with few invertebrates (such as bees and snails) domesticated. In contrast a diverse array of marine taxa – molluscs, crustaceans, vertebrates, echinoderms, jellyfish, worms have been domesticated. Many more wild marine species are used for food (more than 3000 marine species compared to fewer than 200 land species) providing further scope for domestication and explaining the rapid increase in the number of aquatic species becoming domesticated today. In addition domestication of land species has been restricted to a few regions whilst for marine species there is a more global trend.

The rise of aquaculture

According to Prof. Duarte from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research “Aquaculture is now emerging as a revolution in agriculture of global importance to humanity”.

While most land species were domesticated earlier than aquatic species we are now witnessing a contemporary phenomenon, where marine species are rapidly becoming domesticated. Four hundred and thirty, 97% of the aquatic species presently in culture, have been domesticated since the start of the 20th century and in the last decade an estimated 106 species haven been domesticated.

Not without consequences

Aquaculture production has been growing at approximately 7 to 8 % per year compensating for the stagnation of fisheries, and is likely to become the main source of marine food for humans as demands continue to grow. This development in aquaculture is predicted to replace fisheries as animal husbandry replaced hunting on the land. However, aquaculture development also has, as currently practised, negative consequences for the environment and biodiversity, including the deterioration of coastal ecosystems by aquaculture effluents and impacts on wild species used as feed.

“This increase in aquaculture has global consequences, both as a food source and in terms of environmental implications” says Dr Nùria Marbá, from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research. Also “the growth in the domestication of marine biodiversity will thus represent a fundamental change in the way humans relate to the oceans”.

Full refrence:
Duarte, C.M., N. Marbá, and M. Holmer. 2007. Rapid Domestication of Marine Species. Science 316: 382-383.

Carlos Duarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.marbef.org/
http://www.imedea.uib.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>