Economic sustainability of marine aquaculture : a report to the Marine Aquaculture Task Force
Kite-Powell, Hauke L.
Schumacher, Mary E.
Katz, Laure S.
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In the future, marine aquaculture production is likely to expand significantly in the United States and abroad. This paper deals with the present and future economic sustainability of aquaculture in the United States in light of this expectation. Economic sustainability requires the allocation of scarce resources to generate economic profits for investments in physical capital, knowledge, and technology that may endow future generations with the capacity to be at least as well off as the current generation. Discussions about sustainability (or sustainable development) focus mainly on fairness in the distribution of economic welfare across generations. Due to this focus on intergenerational equity, international political discussions of sustainable development often are not directly concerned with economic efficiency. Economic efficiency is a necessary condition for achieving sustainable development, however, because it does not make sense to waste resources without cause. And efficiency is likely to increase the net benefits that can be shared both within and across generations.
This paper was written at the request of, and to provide background information for the work of, the Marine Aquaculture Task Force, a project of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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