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

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:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>