Global pathways of innovation and spread of marine aquaculture species

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 6, 20 January 2023
Gentry R.R., Rassweiler A., Ruff E.O., Lester S.E.

Mariculture—the farming of marine species—is a growing industry that could support and diversify food systems, but its sustainable expansion requires innovations to improve yields, profitability, resilience, and environmental performance. However, there is limited knowledge regarding where and why industry innovations spread. Here, we examine one key aspect of innovation, the development of new mariculture species, and evaluate a global network of countries developing, spreading, and adopting new farmed species. We found that countries with long histories of aquaculture innovation (e.g., Japan, France) have had success developing widely produced species. Network analysis revealed that other countries (e.g., Singapore) may play an important role in the subsequent spread of new species. Strong governance and economic conditions seem to play small but significant roles in facilitating the development and spread of mariculture species. Better understanding pathbreaking countries and characteristics of innovation can foster a sustainable trajectory for this burgeoning industry.