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 Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>