Aquaculture can be traced to ancient, water-oriented cultures. In these civilizations, fish were an important part of people's diets. In the Tang dynasty in the 5th century B.C., carp were cultivated in ponds as a food source. And, as early as 2000 years ago, live fish were sold at markets in baskets or from caged ponds nearby. As a result of exploration, aquaculture eventually spread to Europe. The ancient Romans and the French both cultivated oysters. By the mid 1800s, people in North America were beginning to experiment with aquaculture for commercial purposes and for fun. Today, aquaculture has become a thriving, worldwide industry.
Aquaculture has a place in world history. This Japanese fish market that likely was part of an aquaculture system. (Boyer/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
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