Multi-tropic refers to the incorporation of species form different trophic or nutritional levels in the same system. This is one potential distinction form the age-old practice of aquatic polyculture, which could simply be the co-culture of different fish species form the same trophic level. The integration in IMTA refers to the more intensive cultivation of the different species in proximity of each other, connected by nutrient and energy transfer through water. Ideally, the biological and chemical processes in an IMTA system should be balanced, which can be achieved through the appropriate selection and proportions of different species providing different ecosystem functions. A working IMTA system results in greater production for the overall system, based on mutual benefits to the co-cultured species and improved ecosystem health, even though the individual production of some of the species is lower compared to what could be reached in monoculture practices over a short term period. Although several reports are available on successful implementation of IMTA, the practice has mostly been restricted to marine sector. Therefore the development of adoption of IMTA system in the freshwater is highly needed. Further, site specific practices need to be standardized and implemented as it is not really possible to develop a universal system for IMTA systems.
Source: Aqua Aquaria India