Environmental biotechnology has made rapid strides during the past three or four decades. Many problems pertaining to accumulation of hazardous wastes and toxic metals in water, wastewater and soil have been solved.
We now use biological methods not only for wastewater treatment but also for air pollution control. Bioremediation, whether it be by natural attenuation, bio-augmentation or use of genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) has been used for environmental protection.
Use of both aquatic and terrestrial plants in phytoremediation and recovery of metals from plant residues has been a promising area. Biological wastewater treatment facilities have played a major role in preventing water pollution and environmental degradation. Green chemistry and industrial ecology have suggested techniques and pathways for manufacture of alterative chemicals and a new paradigm about the relationship between the industrial system and the natural environment.
In spite of all these achievements and problems environmental biotechnology holds many promises for more and more understanding of the use of microorganisms and other biological techniques for environmental protection and restoration.
A better understanding of the conditions and methods required for environmental cleaning and waste disposal can lead to more efficient remediation and waste treatment processes. The development of more biodegradable products will also become an important part of environmental protection. In the light of all such hopes there are many reasons to be optimistic that with more advances in environmental biotechnology we can achieve a sustainable environment.
Role of micro-organism in aquaculture has also been recognized. They may have positive or negative effects on the outcome of aquaculture operations. Positive microbial activities include elimination of toxic materials such as ammonia, nitrite and hydrogen sulphide, degradation of uneaten food, and also providing nutrition to aquatic animals such as fish and shrimp. These and other similar function make micro-organisms as key players in the sustainability of aquaculture.