Royal Society Publishing

Managing to harvest? Perspectives on the potential of aquaculture

James Muir


Aquaculture has been one of the most rapid and technically innovative of food production sectors globally, with significant investment, scientific and technical development and production growth in many parts of the world over the past two decades. While this has had a significant effect on the global supply of aquatic food products and had an important impact in rural and urban food supply and employment in many developing economies, growth and increasing internationalization has not been without concern for natural resource use, environmental impact and social disruption. The expectations for production and diversification are now significant and while the scientific and technical means are already available to meet much of the intended targets, practical constraints of investment, profitability, resource access and system efficiency are likely to become far more important constraints for the future. This review offers a contemporary perspective on the ways in which the sector might develop, its interactions with constraints and the strategies that may be required to ensure that future development is both positive and sustainable.