Difference Between Fishing and Farming

Over the years fish has been significant in a man’s life. Right from providing nutrition through the diet to providing minerals and vitamins through Fish Oil, Fish Protein, etc.


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Even then people tend to get confused between the terms Fishing and Fish Farming. These may appear to be strikingly similar but are intrinsically different.  

Fishing vs Farming   

The difference between Fishing and Farming is that Fishing is the process of catching a fish from any sea body. Commercial Fishing requires a lot of techniques and tactics like netting, spearing, whereas Fish Farming is breeding fish to gain certain profit from them (Usually for nutrition and diet).  

Fishing vs Farming

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Fishing is the act of catching edible fish and shellfishes. It requires a lot of skill and tactics to catch fish such as trapping, angling, etc.

Commercially, nets are used by the fishermen as nets can gather an enormous number of fish in one go. The term Fishing is not only used for catching fish, it may include catching many aquatic creatures too.  

On the other hand, Fish Farming is the breeding and rearing of fishes in artificial ponds, fish tanks, etc. Fish Farming was introduced as the demand for Fish Oil, Fish Protein is increasing day by day.

The motive of Fish Farming is to provide the fish with enough nutrition, safety from predators, good environment so that on maturing they can pass on the nutrition to the human race.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison    Fishing    Farming    
Defined as    Picking up/ Catching Fish    Breeding and Rearing of Fish 
Techniques/ Methodology   Netting, Spearing, Hand Gathering, Trapping, Angling, etc.  Cage System, Fish Ponds, Fish Tanks, etc.  
Origin    Eastern Asia- 40,000 Years Ago  China  
Concern   Painful Stings and Stimuli, Poisonous Fees, etc.  Dietary issues regarding some special types of fishes, Diseases (Sea Lice), Genetic Modifications, etc.  
Species    Fishes, Aquatic Animals (Molluscs, Echinoderms), etc.    Salmon, Tilapia, Catfish, Carp, etc.  

What is Fishing?  

As mentioned above, Fishing is the practice of catching fish and other aquatic creatures, primarily for food and nutrition. Commercial Fishing requires a lot of practice and skills/ techniques like trapping, angling, etc.

Apart from food/ nutrition, fishes are also caught to be preserved in museums depending on the species.   

Fishing originated almost 40,000 years ago and is one of the most ancient practices that are still relevant. Fishing became popular when certain tribes back then started consuming fishes and aquatic animals, thus it became a tradition.

Paleontological shreds of evidence like cave paintings, fish bones, etc., show that Fishing was a common practice back then.   

Commercially, most Fishermen use a technique like Netting. Nets are of many kinds ranging from Gill Nets to Trawls.

Trawling is a popular method wherein a Trawl Net (a huge net bag) is thrown into the sea and the mouth of the bag is sealed and brought up to the sea. This method ensures huge species of fishes to be caught, mainly cod, shrimp, etc.   

Fishing is commercially profitable as it provides Sea Food, Fish Protein, Fish Oil, etc. Fish Protein is considered to be the best quality protein and is the only source of animal protein that almost the entire human race is dependent on.

Fishing also aids in providing products other than food and nutrition like Leather, Fish Glue, Pigments, Isinglass, etc.   

Although Fishing is commercially profitable it does possess some serious concerns and threats like pain caused by the sting or stimuli, or inhumane methods of catching them, etc., these factors can prove to be detrimental shortly.  

What is Farming?  

Aforementioned, Fish Farming or Pisciculture is a section of Aquaculture that includes breeding and rearing fishes in an artificial sea body in a better environment to gain benefits from them on maturing (primarily nutrition).

Although Fish Farming originated in China and Egypt it is now popular globally and is practiced actively in every country. Studies suggest that 50% of the seafood comes from Fish Farming.  

Fish Farming originated in China; this explains the reason why China contributes almost 62% of the worldwide Fish Farming Market.

Following China, many countries started practicing aquaculture and pisciculture, thus presently Fish Farming is the sole reason for 50% of the production and consumption of kinds of seafood and fish protein.  

Fish Farming requires expertise in knowing the species of fishes as only certain fishes can be actively farmed.

Apart from this Fish Farming also demands the knowledge of the habitat and diet of fishes as fishes need to be brought out of their usual environment and to be cultivated in artificial ponds, fish tanks, etc.   

As the fishes mature, they are transferred to bigger ponds/ tanks to ease out their movement and reproduction. Some fishes find it difficult to reproduce in closed space, so injections full of hormones are introduced into their body.

This administration ensures that they produce a huge number of progenies.  

Currently, Fish Farming is integrated with polyculture that is raising numerous species together to provide good quality offspring with high yield.

Commonly, salmon and carp are actively farmed, along with these shellfishes like oysters, mussels are also farmed. Pisciculture/ Fish Farming also has an unpleasant side, like ecosystem fluctuation, infectious diseases, pollution, etc.   

Main Differences Between Fishing and Farming  

  1. Fishing is the act of catching certain species of fish, on the other hand, Fish Farming is the cultivation and breeding of fishes.  
  2. The commercial techniques used for Fishing include Netting, Trawling, Spearing, Angling, etc., while the technique/ modus operandi of Fish Farming includes Cage system rearing, Irrigation Ditch, Artificial Ponds/ Tanks, etc.   
  3. Fishing includes catching fishes as well as some aquatic creatures like Echinoderms, Molluscs, Crustaceans (Mainly Crabs) while Fish Farming mainly includes rearing species like Salmon, Carp, Catfish, etc.   
  4. Fishing can be classified into Commercial Fishing, Traditional Fishing, Recreational Fishing, etc., whereas Fish Farming can be categorized into Extensive Fish Farming and Intensive Fish Farming.   
  5. Fishing possesses threats like painful sting/ stimuli while catching, inhumane techniques of catching, while Fish Farming carries threats like Infectious Diseases, Feeding Issues, Destruction of the usual habitat of fishes, etc.   
Difference Between Fishing and Farming


  1. http://repository.seafdec.or.th/handle/20.500.12067/496 
  2. https://books.google.com/bookshl=en&lr=&id=8ljhBwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=fish+farming&ots=9akUJXEHlL&sig=m7tNWWN_CiJIcr3roQtLMfjznBc 
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