The aquaculture industry is currently faced with solving the simultaneous problems of developing economically viable production systems, reducing the impact on the environment and improving public perception. Significant progress has been made in understanding and design of production systems. Improvement in cultured stocks has not kept pace with productivity demands. The benefits of advancing aquaculture capability, driven by investments into biotechnology research, may allow rapid progress in fish farming productivity if those advances do not create additional environmental or economic liabilities.
The promising application of biotechnology to aquaculture production has stimulated heated debate around the issues of potential human health impacts, environmental risks, toxicity, economic efficacy and even morality. Many of the issues must and will be debated in the arenas of public policy, politics and, one hopes, in the scientific literature.