Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 59-77

First online:

Marine aquaculture: Genetic potentialities and pitfalls

  • Fred UtterAffiliated withSchool of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington
  • , John EpifanioAffiliated withCenter for Aquatic Ecology, Illinois Natural History Survey

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Genetic considerations permeate the intricateinteractions of marine aquacultural populationswith their wild counterparts. We illustratethese complexities in a matrix where sevencategories of primary aquaculture activity(conservation, supplementation, mitigation,intentional introduction, put-and-take,commercial captive rearing, experimental) arelinked to important genetic considerationsrelated to resident and cultured taxa. We focuson the effects of cultured populations on theirwild native conspecifics. Using publishedexamples, we examine both the frequency ofoccurrence and the biological implications ofsituations in which released cultured fish havehad direct genetic effects throughintrogressive hybridization, as well asindirect genetic effects such as inducedthrough disease transfer, induced over-harvest,and displacement. These examples are contrastedwith those instances where aquacultural activitieshave coexisted in harmony with underlyingconcerns related to issues of conservationgenetics. Recommendations are made to guideindustries, agencies, and managers toward theselatter interactions.

aquaculture exotic populations genetic effects natural populations ocean ranching