Fish farming or pisciculture involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. It is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species used in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon and catfish.
Demand is increasing for fish and fish protein, which has resulted in widespread overfishing in wild fisheries. China provides 62 percent of the world’s farmed fish. As of 2016, more than 50% of seafood was produced by aquaculture.
Farming carnivorous fish, such as salmon, does not always reduce pressure on wild fisheries, since carnivorous farmed fish are usually fed fishmeal and fish oil extracted from wild forage fish. The 2008 global returns for fish farming recorded by the FAO totaled 33.8 million tonnes worth about $US 60 billion.