The growth of aquaculture as an industry has accelerated over the past decades; this has resulted in environmental damages and low productivity of various crops. The need for increased disease resistance, growth of aquatic organisms, and feed efficiency has brought about the use of probiotics in aquaculture practices. The first application of probiotics occurred in 1986, to test their ability to increase growth of hydrobionts (organisms that live in water). Later, probiotics were used to improve water quality and control of bacterial infections. Nowadays, there is documented evidence that probiotics can improve the digestibility of nutrients, increase tolerance to stress, and encourage reproduction. Currently, there are commercial probiotic products prepared from various bacterial species such as Bacillus sp., Lactobacillus sp., Enterococcus sp., Carnobacterium sp., and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae among others, and their use is regulated by careful management recommendations. The present paper shows the current knowledge of the use of probiotics in aquaculture, its antecedents, and safety measures to be carried out and discusses the prospects for study in this field. 1. Introduction Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms by intervention in the rearing process to enhance production and private ownership of the stock being cultivated. Compared to fishing, this activity allows a selective increase in the production of species used for human consumption, industry or sport fishing. Due to overfishing of wild populations, aquaculture has become an economic activity of great importance around the world. Aquaculture’s contribution to world food production, raw materials for industrial and pharmaceutical use, and aquatic organisms for stocking or ornamental trade has increased dramatically in recent decades. The report World Aquaculture 2012 found that global production of fish from aquaculture grew more than 30 percent between 2006 and 2011, from 47.3 million tons to 63.6 million tons. It also forecasts that by 2012 more than 50 percent of the world’s food fish consumption will come from aquaculture, so it is expected to overtaking capture fisheries as a source of edible fish. This growth rate is due to several factors: (1) many fisheries have reached their maximum sustainable exploitation, (2) consumer concerns about security and safety of their food, (3) the market demand for high-quality, healthy, low-calorie, and high-protein aquatic products, and (4) aquatic breeding makes only a minimum contribution to carbon dioxide emission [1, 2].
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